The cost of the proposed Hudson River replacement rail tunnel project yo-yoed back up as planners postponed its likely start date by a year, according to Aug. 28 documents released by Gateway Program Development Corp. and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The $11.6-billion project includes $1.8 billion to rehabilitate the existing North River Tunnel between the two states and $9.8 billion for a new tunnel.

The total price tag, cited in a submission to the Federal Transit Administration’s 2020 call for projects for the Capital Investment Grant, is up 2.4% from $11.3 billion submitted in 2019.

Gateway attributed the cost increase to a delay to 2022 in the start of major construction. as developers continue to wait for the federal government to issue a new Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a letter to Felicia James, FTA associate administrator of planning and environment, that elay in issuing the environmental approvals has resulted in “ineligibility to receive federal funds required for advancing into full construction.”

As ENR reported earlier, the planned tunnel project, currently in preliminary engineering, received a “low” FTA rating on Feb. 10 based on scores for current financial conditions, funding commitments and reasonableness of financial plan.