Hudson Tunnel Project issues call for bids for early construction work

Matthew Fazelpoor//February 16, 2023

Hudson Tunnel Project issues call for bids for early construction work

Matthew Fazelpoor//February 16, 2023

The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) Feb. 16 announced two procurements seeking bids for early construction work of the Hudson Tunnel Project.

Building the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation will be the first early work here in New Jersey for the new Hudson Tunnel Project, and the first construction contract managed by the GDC. It will build an overpass to carry Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen over the alignment of the new tunnel, connecting directly to the opening for the underground portion at the western slope of the New Jersey Palisades.

The contracts, which are being procured on behalf of the GDC with support from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, include an Invitation for Bid for a contractor to build the project and a Request for Proposal for Construction Management Services for a firm to assist GDC in oversight and management of the project.

The GDC says the procurements include a provision calling for certain Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements. The Construction Management proposals will be considered only from firms that qualify as SBEs and must include 25% of the contract going to DBEs. Meanwhile, the Invitation for Bid requires the commitment of 18% of the contract for DBEs.

Gov. Phil Murphy joins President Biden, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to highlight bipartisan infrastructure law funding for the Hudson River Tunnel Project on Jan. 31, 2023.
President Biden announced a $292 million Mega Grant on Jan. 31 for the Hudson Tunnel Project. – EDWIN J. TORRES/NJ GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

The announcement continues forward momentum for the long-stalled, long-delayed project and comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s recent visit to New York to announce a $292 million Mega Grant for early-phase concrete casing work at Hudson Yards that sets the stage for work on two projects on both sides of the Hudson to begin this year.

Moving forward

In a statement, Gov. Phil Murphy said that Thursday’s announcement could not come at a better time for the state’s economic future.

“Progress toward the construction of the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation represents a significant milestone for the Hudson Tunnel Project and the larger Gateway Program, the most important infrastructure project not just in the region, but across the country,” said Murphy. “My administration is especially proud that these procurements will have substantial SBE and DBE components, which is vital to ensuring that the benefits of this game-changing program are equitably shared throughout our region.”

Kris Kolluri, chief executive officer of GDC, said that this is the year that the Hudson Tunnel Project moves from planning to execution.

Kris Kolluri, CEO, Gateway Development Commission

“And starting work in both New York and New Jersey is the most tangible and visible demonstration of that fact,” he said. “Vitally, GDC is demonstrating through these first procurements managed by the agency that we will ensure firms that are traditionally underrepresented in construction are a major part of the Hudson Tunnel Project.”

“Starting on Tonnelle Avenue, and moving toward real construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project on both sides of the river, is great news for the hundreds of thousands of riders who rely on this vital link,” said Balpreet Grewal-Virk, New Jersey commissioner and co-chair of GDC. “We’ll keep working with our governors and our local and federal partners to push the projects forward that makes this tunnel a reality.”

GDC says that the funding will be split between federal money, Amtrak, and the local project partners. The commission has applied for a Federal Railroad Administration grant and says it will continue pursuing additional sources of federal funding.

Anthony Coscia

The construction on this phase is expected to take approximately two years.

“Building on the recent visit by President Biden, today’s announcement is a major milestone in delivering the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation,” said Tony Coscia, Amtrak commissioner and vice chair of GDC. “We know that even a planned shutdown of one of the current 113-year-old tubes would be crippling to the economy and to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, so we will continue to do everything we can to move forward in building a new tunnel.”

Past progress