ARC prepares Hudson Tunnels contract
ARC prepares Hudson Tunnels contract Oct 2009
Paula Wallis, TunnelTalk
Bids on the first tunneling contract are due in days and New Jersey Transit is getting ready to tender the third and final tunneling contract of the $8.7 billion Trans-Hudson rail tunnel project known as Access to the Regions Core (ARC).


The informational documents for the Hudson Tunnels Contract are now available on the New Jersey Transit website. “We are looking forward to a very competitive bid process and will start with the pre-qualification phase early next year,” said Paul Wyckoff, spokesperson for ARC.
The estimated $500 million contract includes 7,500ft (2.3km) of soft ground tunnels under the Hudson River. The pre-qualification phase will be followed by the submission of technical proposals and a final firm fixed priced bid. At each stage of the procurement process contractors will have an opportunity to amend any deficiencies in their proposals.
Meanwhile, the procurement process is moving forward on the project's first tunneling contract. The three pre-qualified contractors Barnard/Judlau JV, Shea/Schiavone/Skanska, JV, and S.A. Healy/CCA Civil/Halmar JV will submit their bids for the estimated $500 million Manhattan Tunnels contract next Wednesday (October 21).
The contract includes construction of a 160ft (49m) diameter x 160ft (49m) deep shaft using slurry wall construction plus 19,000ft (5.8km) of four TBM bored tunnel drives through hard rock with five cross passages, cavern construction of the Warrington Interlocking facility and utility diversions and site set-up works. The tunnels will run directly through the future New York Penn Station Expansion cavern to Sixth Avenue.
In August, 2009 the same three JVs plus one more, the OHL/Tully JV, pre-qualified to bid on the second tunneling contract under the New Jersey Palisades. The design-build contract, with an estimated $250 million value, will include bored tunnels running through the hard rock of the Palisades to the Hoboken access shaft. The twin tunnels will be about 5,200ft (1.6km) long and will have a finished inside diameter of about 24ft 6in (7.5m). Bids are due on December 2, 2009.
Wyckoff says New Jersey Transit is pleased with the number and experience of the pre-qualified bidders. “We did not want to end up in a situation where we only had one bidder,” said Wyckoff. “Four JVs representing 10 construction companies pre-qualified for the Palisades Tunnels project and we are hoping for more than that for the Hudson Tunnels contract.”
At least four of the companies making up the pre-qualified JVs already have major tunneling operations underway in New York City. Judlau in joint venture with Dragados is currently working on $1.5 billion worth of tunneling contracts for the East Side Access project to bring the Long Island Railroad service into Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan’s east side. Schiavone/Shea/Skanska JV holds the $337 million 2nd Avenue Subway contract, and the $1.145 billion No 7 Line Subway Extension contract both currently into excavation for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Schiavone/Shea/Frontier Kemper JV is also completing more than 45,000ft (13.7km) of tunnel excavation for Water Tunnel No 3 for the Department of Environmental Protection.
The new 3.7-mile ACR rail line connection under the Hudson and into a massive new underground station terminal complex at Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan is anticipated to be in service in 2017.
ARC contract update - TunnelTalk, Jul 2009
First ARC contract advertised - video - TunnelTalk, May 2009
Access to the Regions Core - video - TunnelTalk, Feb 2009
ARC contractor information


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