On Wednesday morning, the directors of New Jersey Transit are scheduled to approve a $583 million contract for the digging of a train tunnel under the west side of Midtown Manhattan. The tunnel is intended to supplement the existing tunnels that carry commuters into the city from New Jersey and other points west.The Port Authority of NY/NJ and the federal government are putting up the bulk of the funds. NJ Transit is putting up a small portion.
The imminent construction of the tunnel is the biggest public works project under way in the country, with an estimated total cost of $8.7 billion. It will stretch from the west side of the New Jersey Palisades to a station under 34th Street, near Macy’s flagship store.
The boring of the tunnels is to be conducted in three sections, with the work under Manhattan scheduled to begin next year. That segment will curve from the west end of 28th Street to a point deep beneath Herald Square.
New Jersey Transit, the lead agency on the project, accepted bids from three prequalified bidders. The lowest of the three, $583 million, came from a joint venture of Barnard Construction, which is based in Bozeman, Mont., and Judlau Contracting, based in Queens.
This is the largest contract let to date on the project.
Here's a map of the new tunnel, which includes a loop to permit one-seat rides from the Pascack Valley, Main and Bergen Lines into Manhattan. That would make the $1 billion Secaucus Transfer project obsolete because the main purpose of the station was to link all the lines together so passengers could transfer easily.