After five years running the Camden Community Partnership as CEO in South Jersey, Kolluri was tapped last May to serve as chief executive officer of the Gateway Development Commission, a post he assumed officially in July. “There is no more urgent infrastructure project in the nation than the Hudson Tunnel,” the former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation said at the time — and that puts Kolluri at the forefront of a massive public investment.
At the end of January, President Joe Biden revealed a $292 million Mega Grant that will fund an early phase of Gateway’s Hudson Tunnel Project. That component of the work made a number of advances in the latter part of 2022, beginning with the GDC becoming the Project Sponsor, making it responsible for overseeing and completing the task on time – and within budget – in addition to applying for federal loans and ensuring all federal requirements and responsibilities are met.
In November, GDC took steps to secure a $6.5 billion federal grant and the group closed the year issuing a call for a potential Project Delivery Partner. Along with its request to the federal government to enter into the Engineering Phase of the Capital Investment Grants Program process, the GDC sent an updated financial plan for the project, fulfilling a promise Kolluri made when he came on board and signaling the kind of leadership he brings to the project.
The plan emphasized efforts to seek more federal funding to reduce project costs by up to $1.4 billion, to undertake a value engineering exercise to potentially reduce costs further, and to pursue opportunities to cut down the project’s overall schedule.
“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,” he said. “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.”i