The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) has awarded the first heavy construction contract for the Hudson Tunnel Project (HTP) in the US to Weeks Marine.  

The contract is for the Hudson River Ground Stabilization (HRGS) Project, which is a component of the HTP. 

The award value amounts to $284m, with an initial authorisation not to exceed $100m for the first phase.

Following a public bidding process, Weeks Marine’s proposal was selected by an evaluation panel. 

The panel included technical experts from the GDC, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Amtrak.  

The HRGS Project aims to alter the Hudson River’s conditions to facilitate future construction.  

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This project involves the injection of a soil, concrete, and water mix to solidify the riverbed in 1,200ft of shallow space on the Manhattan side of the river.

It is expected to ensure the safe operation of a tunnel boring machine. 

GDC commissioner and co-chair for New York Balpreet Grewal-Virk, and GDC Amtrak commissioner and vice-chair Tony Coscia said: “By authorising the Hudson Tunnel Project’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.” 

The riverbed, comprised of soft silt, will be reinforced with grout injections, creating columns of soil mixed with cement and water above the planned tunnel.  

Work will be enclosed by temporary sheet pile cofferdams, allowing for phased in-water ground improvement. 

The project’s first phase, including surveying and the construction of a test cofferdam, is scheduled from early to late 2024.  

The second phase, encompassing the remaining HRGS Project work, will run from late 2024 to early 2027. 

Five out of nine HTP packages are either in procurement, awarded, or under construction stages.