• 2019
  • Tunnel Design
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The Gateway Program – The Hudson River Tunnel Project in New York, New Jersey


The Northeast Corridor (NEC) represents one of the most heavily traversed regions in the United States. Between Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, some 800,000 riders travel daily across eight states and Washington, D.C. with more than 2000 trains. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused tremendous damage to the transit infrastructure, including flooding of the East and North River tunnels between New Jersey, Manhattan, and Long Island. The flooding, in addition to temporarily halting service on the respective rail lines, also exposed the lack of redundancies and resilience within this major transportation network, which is heavily dependent upon ageing infrastructure that is over a century-old.

The Gateway Program, a successor to the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) project canceled in 2010, aims to tackle some of the problems exploited by Superstorm Sandy, while expanding capacity and building new resilience into the transit network. For Phase I of the project, the North River tunnels, which connect New Jersey and New York, would be temporarily closed for full rehabilitation upon completion of two new Hudson River tunnels. The proposed Hudson River tunnels, which are the main focus of this paper, present a number of engineering and geotechnical challenges. These challenges include mixed-face conditions, shallow groundcover for TBM tunneling at specific areas of the alignment beneath the Hudson River, and tunneling through the more than century-old Manhattan bulkhead. Modern tunneling technologies allow the flexibility to address the challenges posed by the Hudson River tunnels, to be excavated with tunnel boring machines (TBMs), including utilizing cutting-edge ground improvement techniques (i.e. ground freezing) to assist with excavation of the Manhattan Bulkhead with Conventional Tunneling also referred to as the Sequential Excavation Method (SEM).

2019 Underground Construction Prague Conference Proceedings
June 3 – 5, 2019, Prague, Czech Republic (Gall, V. & Nasim, M.)
Copyright holds the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) and GUARANT International spol. s r. o.