Finally! Hudson Tunnel Project Green-Lighted for Construction

Written by Bill Wilson, Engineering Editor; and Editor-in-Chief, Railway Track & Structures
The Hudson Tunnel Project could begin as early as mid-2023. (Photo: Amtrak)

The Hudson Tunnel Project could begin as early as mid-2023. (Photo: Amtrak)

Now all that is left is the money.

In a milestone event, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Dec. 1 the issuing of a permit to allow construction of the tunnel and tracks under the Hudson River. The Hudson Tunnel Project looks to have finally broken through the last barrier leading to construction.

With President Biden signing the infrastructure bill in November, the financing part of the $12.3 billion project now appears to be easier to achieve. Work on two new tunnels and the rehabilitation of the two 111-year-old existing tunnels could begin as early as 2023.

The Hudson Tunnel Project is one component of the Gateway Program, on which Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Gateway Development Commission are working with other project proponents and partners, including the states of New York and New Jersey, to advance numerous components of the overall project.

“This step brings us much closer to the beginning of construction on the Hudson Tunnel Project, which is part of the single-largest critical infrastructure effort in the nation,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “I am looking forward to continuing work with our partners in the Biden administration, New York, Amtrak, and our congressional delegation on completing the entire Gateway Program.”

The Gateway Development Corporation said federal financing for the Hudson Tunnel Project could be ready by the end of 2022. The project is expected to be complete in 2035.

“The Gateway project will help support the economic prosperity of New York and the rest of the country for years to come, which is why we need to get this project right and get it moving,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement.

In related developments, this summer, a new financial plan was submitted to the Federal Transit Administration to support the Hudson Tunnel Project’s inclusion in the CIG (Capital Investments Grant) Program. Also, in May, the project received a Final Environment Impact Statement (Final EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD from the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration.

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