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Hudson Tunnel Project – Conclusion of First Heavy Construction Contract

As the first heavy construction contract for the Hudson Tunnel Project (HTP), the Gateway Development Commission has granted the Hudson River Ground Stabilisation (HRGS) Project to Weeks Marine.

In order to allowing the TBM to dig the tunnel, the US$284m HRGS Project is due to modify conditions in the Hudson River. In the low-cover area of the Hudson River off Manhattan’s shoreline, the riverbed comprises silt too soft to support a tunnel. By injecting grout into the silt, columns of soil mixed with cement and water will stabilise the ground above the future tunnel. Temporary sheet pile cofferdams will enclose the work zone, enabling in-water ground improvement to be completed one phase at a time, beginning in the section of the river closest to Manhattan and moving westward toward the Hudson River’s navigation channel.

While the work process of Weeks Marine will commence in the current year, its phase one, undertaken from spring to autumn, includes surveying and the design and construction of a test cofferdam and Phase Two, from autumn this year to spring 2027, includes the design and construction of remaining work related to the HRGS Project.

According to the Gateway Development Commission: “By authorising the HTP’s first heavy construction work, we are one step closer to crossing the Rubicon and securing this tunnel’s future. Work is on-track and there can be no turning back on the 21st century transportation experience our riders have long been waiting for.”

Building of a new 3.9km two-tube tunnel beneath the Hudson River, between Newark, New Jersey, and New York City’s Penn Station, and refurbishing Amtrak’s existing 112-year-old North River rail tunnel, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, are the subsets of this US$16bn Gateway Program.

The date of breakthrough on both sides of the Hudson River was November last year, whereas construction under way on the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3 on Manhattan’s west side and the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project in North Bergen. Five out of the nine packages that comprise the HTP are either in procurement, awarded, or under construction.

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