THE Gateway Development Commission (GDC), which is overseeing construction of a new twin-bore tunnel for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) beneath the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey, signed financing agreements on July 8 securing the full $US 16bn needed to deliver the project.

These comprise a $US 6.88bn Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and three Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) low-interest loans from the Build America Bureau totalling $4.06bn to fund the local share of the project. The states of New York and New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) are covering 30% of the project’s costs.

The federal government confirmed that it would award the $US 6.88bn grant to GDC last month. The project has secured a total of $US 12bn in federal government funding, which is described as “the largest federal commitment to a rail transportation project in modern history.”

“After decades of delays, the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project is finally moving forward,” says New York governor, Ms Kathy Hochul. “This Full Funding Grant Agreement will provide the critical resources needed to deliver an essential piece of infrastructure that will bring millions of visitors to New York every year.”

Progress report

As well as building the new tunnel for the Northeast Corridor (NEC), which is expected to be completed in 2035, the project involves rehabilitating the existing North River Tunnel. Work on this element will be completed in 2038. The project also includes construction of a new track box underneath Hudson Yards in New York City, which will allow trains to travel between the new Hudson River Tunnel and Penn Station.

Construction officially commenced in November 2023, and with all funding now in place, GDC is able to proceed with major construction and tunnel boring, including the Hudson River Ground Stabilisation Project. This involves stabilising the riverbed on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River to enable TBMs to excavate the new tunnel.

GDC plans to award contracts worth more than $US 5bn for construction work by the end of 2024. This will include contracts to build sections of the tunnel passing through the Palisades in New Jersey and going through the Manhattan bulkhead under Hudson River Park. It will also order the first TBM for the project.

A joint venture of contractors Parsons, Mace and Arcadis was appointed to deliver the project in March.

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