Hudson Tunnel Project takes steps to secure $6.5B federal grant

Gateway Commission approves Project Development Agreement

Matthew Fazelpoor//November 21, 2022//

Hudson Tunnel Project takes steps to secure $6.5B federal grant

Gateway Commission approves Project Development Agreement

Matthew Fazelpoor//November 21, 2022//

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The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) announced a series of actions during a meeting of its board of commissioners Nov. 18 that begin the next phase of advancing the long-anticipated Hudson Tunnel Project forward.

The GDC submitted a request to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the project to enter into the Engineering Phase of the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program process. A Project Development Agreement (PDA) was also approved, which outlines the specific roles and responsibilities of the partner agencies that will govern the project.

The request to the FTA is the next major step toward, hopefully, to obtaining the $6.5 billion federal grant funding the partners are seeking.

Kris Kolluri

The submission, accompanied by a cover letter from GDC Chief Executive Officer Kris Kolluri, included an updated financial plan for the project reflecting the cost and schedule GDC released Aug. 31, 2022. Kolluri emphasized efforts to seek additional federal funding that could reduce the project’s cost by up to $1.4 billion, to undertake a value engineering exercise to potentially reduce further costs, and to pursue opportunities to reduce the project’s overall schedule.

The moves represent the first major actions the GDC has taken since assuming the role of Project Sponsor earlier this fall. The GDC says it is working to reach a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with FTA by the spring of 2024.

When I became CEO in July, we committed to the U.S. Department of Transportation that we would have an updated financial plan and an agreement between all our partners to deliver the Gateway Hudson Tunnel by the fall, and that’s what we’ve done,” said Kolluri. “These actions advance the series of steps we’re taking to demonstrate GDC is serious about funding and building the tunnel project as soon as possible, because the region, the nation, and the riders shouldn’t have to wait any longer.”

“The region and the nation need a modern, reliable connection between New York, New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast Corridor that finally ends the bottleneck of delays for travelers and the ongoing risk to our economy,” said GDC Vice-Chair Tony Coscia. “We’ll continue to push ourselves, our partners and our staff to meet the moment and deliver on moving the tunnel project forward.”

The PDA between New Jersey, New York, Amtrak – where Coscia is chairman of the board – and the GDC formalizes a governance structure for the procurement, construction and delivery of the project.

The GDC says the agreement is designed to ensure the project is delivered in the most transparent, ethical and cost-efficient manner.

“We are continuing to deliver on the promises we made to get to full funding and construction, and we’ll remain committed until we get the tunnel project funded, procured, and built,” said GDC N.J. Co-Chair Balpreet Grewal-Virk.

“Today we are taking major steps toward demonstrating to the federal government that we are ready to oversee the financing, construction and delivery of a 21st century tunnel that will provide critical infrastructure for the region and nation,” said GDC N.Y. Co-Chair Alicia Glen.

The GDC also announced the submission of a preliminary 2023 operating budget of $24 million and capital budget of $34 million to its board, which is expected to vote on the plans prior to the end of the calendar year.