Construction Set to Start on Croton Water Plant
The $1.6 billion job will create a new filtration facility in the Bronx.
State Ups Support for N.J. Tunnel
New Jersey state officials pledged an additional $1 billion to New Jersey Transit’s $7.5 billion Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel project, which will create two new passenger rail tubes under the Hudson River and a new station on West 34th Street in Manhattan.
The project, also known as THE Tunnel, now has $3.5 billion in “local” funds, which state officials hope will unlock matching funds from the federal government to pay for most of the rest of the project. The state had previously committed $500,000 to the effort and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had separately pledged $2 billion last year.
The new injection of the $1 billion in state funds resulted from the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s vote to ratify a proposal from Gov. Jon Corzine, who requested the transfer of federal government funds originally earmarked for highway construction to the tunnel project instead, a process the state officials called "flexing." Federal funding rules allow states to transfer highway funds to transit projects and treat them as the local share.
The new funding would be distributed over 10 years, with $50 million in 2008 and 2009, $75 million in 2010 and 2011, $100 million in 2012 and 2013, $150 million each year from 2014 to 2016, and $100 million in 2017.
The project must still secure a “full funding grant agreement” from the Federal Transit Administration.
N.J. Transit held public hearings this spring as part of the federal Environmental Impact Statement process. Now, the project team is working on the final EIS as well as preliminary engineering for the tunnel.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009 and should be completed by 2016. The two single-track tunnels will allow one-seat rail service for N.J. Transit lines that now require transfers between trains. The new station will also connect to 15 New York City Transit subway lines and the Port Authority’s PATH subway system.
Work to Start on Water Plant
Work is set to start on the heart of one of New York City’s largest infrastructure projects, the $2.1 billion Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx.
The project broke ground in 2004 with extensive sitework required to prepare the Mosholu Golf Course, under which the plant will be built. Though community activists had fought the plant’s siting for more than five years, state courts dismissed four lawsuits that aimed to stop construction.
Now, the project will enter its busiest phase with the recent award of the $1.3 billion plant construction and installation contract to a joint venture of Skanska USA Civil and Tully Construction, both of which are based in Queens.
Upon its completion in 2011, the plant will be able to treat 320 million gallons of water per day, responding to a 1997 federal consent decree that requires the city to treat water from its Croton reservoir system, which supplies up to 30% of the city’s drinking water.
The plant will be built on four levels underground. Skanska is responsible for concrete work, installation of machinery, and piping, and it expects to use 7 million cu ft of concrete and 27,000 tons of reinforcing steel.
Congestion Toll Could Help Transit
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative, unveiled with much fanfare this spring, outlines various environmental initiatives to create a more sustainable city for the future – none more noticed than a proposed “congestion pricing” zone for vehicles traveling through a large swath of Manhattan.
But that controversial initiative could also result in capital monies that would fund improvements to mass transit in two boroughs.
The congestion pricing initiative would charge an $8 daily toll on drivers entering Manhattan below 86th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The plan recently won the support of Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council, which must approve the initiative. The plan also needs approval from the State Legislature.
According to the mayor’s office, part of the $30 million that the congestion pricing toll would generate annually would be earmarked toward the construction of additional train stations in neighborhoods that lack adequate transit options. His office this year cited plans for two Metro-North Railroad stations in the Bronx and improvements to two Long Island Railroad stations in Queens as potential projects.
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