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Amtrak on Friday announced it launched the procurement phase for the East River Tunnel rehabilitation project by issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) involving the construction services for renewing two of the tunnel’s four tubes.
The tunnel — which is a vital piece of infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor — is used by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and MTA Long Island Rail Road. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to the tunnel tubes.
Preparatory work already is already underway in Sunnyside Yard in New York City's Queens borough, and major construction is projected to start in early 2024 and conclude in 2027.
The selected contractor will sequentially rehab both tubes by demolishing the existing tunnel systems down to the concrete liner and reconstructing all systems. Tubes 1 and 2 connect Penn Station to Queens and each stretch about 13,000 feet in length.
“This project will renew the East River Tunnel for another century, connect local residents to jobs and economic opportunities, and deliver a modern, more reliable and improved travel experience,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a press release.
The project is eligible for federal funding in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. An application for a full funding grant was submitted in March.
Amtrak issued the RFQ in anticipation of an FRA funding decision in fall.