Today, New Jersey Transit will begin advertising the first construction bids for the Access to the Region's Core Mass Transit Tunnel (MTT) project, which calls for building twin tunnels beneath the Hudson River to more than double commuter-rail capacity between New Jersey and Manhattan.
The agency is seeking bids for an underpass to be built beneath Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, N.J., where the tunnel will begin its descent underground. NJ Transit expects to award the contract and begin construction in spring.
The agency also is seeking design-build bids for 21,200 feet of tunneling in Manhattan. To maximize competition for the tunnel segment, NJ Transit is offering stipends of up to $375,000 to each firm that submits a contract proposal and sealed bids to help offset the cost of developing a proposal for a complicated construction project, the agency said.
Later this year, NJ Transit expects to advertise bids for the two remaining tunnel segments under the Palisades Mountain and Hudson River.
NJ Transit is advancing the $8.7 billion project in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The agencies currently are in discussions with the Federal Transit Administration to obtain the federal government's $3 billion share of the project. PANYNJ already has committed $5.7 toward the project and the state of New Jersey, $3 billion. The agencies also have obtained $130 million in federal stimulus funds.
The Access to the Region's Core project also calls for creating additional station capacity in Manhattan. The new tracks will provide direct access to New York City subway lines, Port Authority Trans-Hudson trains and existing Penn Station services, and enable NJ Transit to offer one-seat commutes to New York on seven commuter-rail lines.