New Jersey Transit's board of directors on Aug. 1 approved a preliminary engineering contract worth $82.5 million to a Newark, N.J.-based joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff, STV and DMJM + Harris in a milestone award for an estimated $6-billion new commuter rail tunnel. The contract came just days after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey committed up to $2 billion to fund the project, which would take two rail lines under the Hudson River, connecting New Jersey and New York�s Pennsylvania Station. Preliminary engineering work will include determining tunneling techniques, construction staging, property acquisition needs and utility relocation.