At least 80 companies have signed up for an RFQ information meeting about the planned $16.1-billion Hudson River tunnel project, a project spokesperson has told ENR. Responses from firms who want to be the Gateway Development Commission's project delivery partner are due by April 3. A shortlist is anticipated by May 1.

The commission, the body jointly created by New York and New Jersey to be responsible for the massive tunnel project and other rail infrastructure work between Newark, N.J., and New York City, is working with Amtrak to find that partner to provide services including design management, construction management, coordination, field representation and monitoring as a “fully integrated and accountable member of the project team,” RFQ documents state.

Under the model, the delivery partner would not take over responsibility for delivery of the project but would be a partner to the commission working as a project manager and consultant delivering capability and expertise, while the commission would remain the publicly accountable entity, says Stephen Sigmund, chief of public outreach for Gateway. The delivery partner would not provide design or construction services on the project. 

The model is being used on large infrastructure projects around the world, including the HS2 high-speed rail line in the U.K. and Australia’s Sydney Metro. 

The delivery partner "is basically a project management consultant in the sense that [it's] providing the arms and the legs, and a lot of technical expertise and capability that a special purpose entity like [Gateway] won’t have,” Sigmund says.

Amtrak expects to shortlist four firms on May 1 to submit proposals, but says it could select more or fewer firms. From there, Gateway may choose one comprehensive delivery partner, or may pick multiple delivery partners with a task order model, the RFQ documents note.  

The plan calls for design and construction of a new two-tube tunnel, the construction of concrete casing at Hudson Yards in Manhattan and the rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnel under the river. 

A preliminary contract packaging plan included in the RFQ documents would break the work into six scopes of work: design and construction of a concrete casing for Hudson Yards; design and construction of tunneling and heavy civil work for the new tunnel; fit-out work for the tunnel including internal concrete for ventilation shafts and the track bed, plus power and other systems; design and construction of surface alignments including retaining walls and bridges to support the track bed in New Jersey; construction of a highway bridge at Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City so the rail right-of-way can pass beneath the street; and rehabilitation of the North River Tunnel.