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Fri September 20 2019

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Private sector helps trim $1.4bn from Hudson Tunnel project

27 Aug Pre-tender input from the private sector has helped trim some US$1.4bn (£1.1bn) from the estimated cost of a planned tunnel construction and rehabilitation project in the eastern USA.

The existing tunnel is in poor repair
The existing tunnel is in poor repair

Construction of a new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River is now set to cost US$9.5bn and the rehabilitation of the existing 108-year-old tunnel has a new estimated cost of US$1.8bn. The revised figures are included in an updated financial plan submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

The reduced cost results from work conducted at the request of the governors of New York and New Jersey to position the project to advance quickly once the federal permits are issued.

Feedback received from the private sector during an extensive ‘request for information’ process led to the launch of a Pre-Procurement Virtual Data Room to allow all responding parties to, among other things, better understand the geotechnical characteristics of the Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades, reduce unknowns and reduce risk.

The project is now at a more advanced level of design and has been subject to an intensive value-for-money analysis. The risks and associated mitigations have been analysed and a more efficient contracting plan has been developed that has resulting in fewer contract packages. Potential delivery methods have been examined, including design-build. The new Hudson River Tunnel's level of design is now at the 30% threshold.

The project is part of the Gateway Program, which I being overseen by the not-for-profit corporation Gateway Program Development Corporation (CDC) in cooperation with Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

“The nation would lose $16 billion if even one of the current tubes had to be taken out of service. We simply can't wait for reliable, resilient 21st century rail travel linking New York City to the rest of the country," said New York trustee Steven Cohen. “The local partners are doing our part by constantly strengthening our applications. Now it's time the Federal Administration did its part not just for rail passengers throughout the Northeast Corridor, but for the nation's economy."

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