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Roadway bridge construction for Hudson River tunnel begins in North Bergen, N.J.

Highway bridge construction for Hudson River tunnel begins in North Bergen, N.J.
Highway bridge construction for Hudson River tunnel begins in North Bergen, N.J. 02:15

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. -- More progress has been made on the Gateway Program. Construction is underway on the New Jersey side that will provide a path for machines to dig a two-track tunnel under the Hudson River.

Ground was broken on the Jersey side of the tunnel project in North Bergen on Thursday. Work will be done to relocate utilities and construct a new roadway bridge for Tonnelle Avenue. It's expected to be completed in 2025.

READ MOREConstruction officially begins on long-delayed Gateway Hudson River Tunnel Project

Earlier this month, construction began on the New York side. Section 3 of the Hudson Yards concrete casing will allow trains to pass through the new Hudson River tunnel to Penn Station. It is expected to be complete in 2026.

Sections 1 and 2 are already done.

Once it's all finished, a new two-track tunnel under the Hudson River will connect New Jersey and New York, and allow for the existing infrastructure to undergo rehabilitation.

"Remember, you got two tunnels right now built in 1910-11 that were damaged over the century-plus, especially with Sandy. You are going to build two more rail tunnels brand new and then you're gonna rehab the existing ones. That's a game changer," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Capacity would double.

READ MOREPresident Joe Biden touts $292 million grant for Hudson River Tunnel Project

The Hudson Tunnel Project is all part of the larger Gateway Program. Also underway is the Portal North Bridge replacement project over the Hackensack River. It is currently about 30% complete.

In 2009, a similar groundbreaking was held on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen for what was then called the "ARC" tunnel, or Access to the Region's Core. It was to be a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, but then-Gov. Chris Christie pulled the plug in 2010.

Fast forward more than a decade later. Over the summer, more federal money was announced for the Gateway Program.

"Look, I was here in 2009 when the first ARC project was getting underway. At that point, the federal contribution was $3.8 billion. Today, we have a federal government, thanks to President Biden, that's going to invest close to $12 billion. This will represent the single largest investment the federal government would have made in any mass transit budget," said Kris Kolluri, CEO of the Gateway Development Commission.

The new tunnel is expected to be completed in 2035.

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