Gateway Tunnel Project gears up for Hudson River transformation

The long-awaited construction phase of the Gateway Tunnel Project, which will revitalize train travel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, will finally be underway as soon as October.

"What we're doing in this project is taking it to a point of no return," said Stephen Sigmund, the chief of public outreach at the Gateway Development Commission.

On Monday, the Gateway Development Commission unanimously approved contracts for two critical phases of the project. One, on the New York side, would add a concrete casing that connects the tunnel project, running under the Hudson, into Penn Station.

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The other, on the New Jersey side, would build what will essentially be the opening of a new tunnel, underneath Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen.

"We are not waiting for 2024, 2025, or 2026," said Kris Kolluri, CEO of the Gateway Development Commission.

The project-- which has been discussed for decades-- will, when finished in about a decade, add a brand-new two-tube tunnel underneath the Hudson for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak rail commuters, and it will refurbish the existing tunnel, more than a century old.

"What we're trying to do here is develop modern 21st-century mass transit," Sigmund said, "So that people have something to use that is reliable and that gets them to work on time and gets them home on time."