With so many “we’re really close but” moments with the Gateway Tunnel project, it’s easy to overlook some of the milestones of the effort.
Don’t get me wrong, Friday was another big event.
The Hudson Tunnel project should qualify to proceed to the next phase of the Federal Public Transport Administrationof the capital investment grant program, based on a new financial plan submitted Friday by the Gateway Program Project Partners, officials said.
The project, now expected to cost $12.3 billion, includes the construction of a new two-lane rail tunnel under the Hudson River, the full rehabilitation of the 110-year-old North River Tunnel, and the completion of the third and final section of the Hudson Yards concrete caisson.
The new financial plan recalculates and reinforces the financial commitments of the project partners on the basis of an updated cost estimate taking into account the four-year delay of the project under the previous presidential administration.
The hope is that major construction of the new tunnel can begin in August 2023.
Governor Phil Murphy was obviously delighted.
“The Hudson Tunnel project is of the utmost importance to the economic well-being of New Jersey, our region and our country,” he said. “The updated financial plan being submitted today demonstrates the commitment of our state and that of our partners to the start and completion of the largest critical infrastructure project in the United States.
“We look forward to working with the administration (of President Joe) Biden Amtrak, New York and the Port Authority (of New York and New Jersey) to begin construction and provide reliable rail service while creating tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefits in the New Jersey and New York area.
The estimated cost of $12.3 billion includes $10.1 billion for the new tunnel and $2.2 billion for the full rehabilitation of the existing tunnel. The construction cost estimate for the project is down from the $12.7 billion cost estimate in 2017, despite a four-year delay. However, it represents an increase over last year due to weather-related escalation and the continued need to push back the schedule for the start of major construction works.
Overall, project partners have taken over $2 billion from the cost estimate, including $1.4 billion based on advanced design work in the 2019 filing and over $900 million. dollars worth of property acquisition estimates since Amtrak was able to acquire a major Manhattan property lately. weeks, evolving rapidly after the US Department of Transportation finalized its environmental review under the new administration.
The partners are also committed to manage so aggressive cost and schedule during the procurement and construction of the project, encouraging entrepreneurs and seeking opportunities early work to further mitigate risks and costs calendar.
Balpreet Grewal-Virk, co-chair of the Gateway and Commissioner of New Jersey, said the project could not start soon enough.
“This financial plan is a major step to finally shovel the ground and get to work building the rail infrastructure we need for the economy of the future,” she said.
The plan targets approximately $5.6 billion in FTA capital investment grant funding, or approximately 44% of CIG-eligible project costs. It is backed by more than $6 billion in estimated construction cost commitments from New York State, New Jersey State and the Port Authority to support borrowing by the Federal Loans Commission to low interest rate.
Amtrak reinforced and demonstrated its commitment to contribute $1.4 billion towards the construction costs of the project and moved quickly to acquire real estate in Manhattan for the project. The states of New Jersey and New York both provided enhanced commitment plans to make support payments to repay the plan’s low-interest federal loans.
Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia, who is also co-chairman of the Gateway Commission, said Amtrak is eager to do its part.
“Amtrak is pleased to have confirmed its commitment to the Hudson Tunnel project by completing the acquisition of property in New York necessary for a future emergency ventilation and evacuation shaft,” he said. . “Amtrak remains confident in the success of our partners and the success of the project. Now is the time to bring this project to construction once and for all.