| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 21 Construction activities in New
York City will last for seven years as Amtrak builds its
multibillion-dollar train tunnel underneath the Hudson River, an
official said late on Tuesday, disclosing how long disruptions
will likely last in a part of Manhattan already jammed up by
massive real estate development.
The tunnel project would also lead to the creation of a
permanent ventilation shaft potentially so tall that it could
block views of the river from the High Line, an elevated railway
that is now a park and major tourist attraction.
"We obviously want to make sure that whatever we do has the
lightest touch possible on the natural and the built
environment," NJ Transit Chief Planner Jeremy Colangelo-Bryan
said during a presentation to the local community board.
The new tunnel, considered one of the most important
transportation projects in the nation, is a major component of
Amtrak's $24 billion Gateway Program to repair and expand its
U.S. northeast transportation corridor.
Reuters reported in December that traffic jams caused by the
project could afflict an already busy area.
The impact would be felt mostly around one block, just east
of the heavily trafficked West Side Highway and south of 30th
Under a so-called cut-and-cover method also used on other
projects throughout the city, part of 30th Street would be dug
up and covered over, so construction could continue underneath,
Colangelo-Bryan told community members.
"Some temporary construction would occupy (part of the
block) for about seven years. So it's about 2019 to about 2026,
roughly, depending on funding," he said.
Colangelo-Bryan said there would be little impact on the
West Side Highway itself, even as workers sink pipes into the
ground, which is landfill, to harden it by "freezing" before
Contractors would also have to bore through a historic
century-old bulkhead, made of timber piles and riprap, along the
river shoreline. The project sponsors are coordinating how to do
that with state historic preservationists and the Hudson River
Park Trust, he said.
All of the muck dug up by the tunnel boring machine will be
dumped out on the New Jersey side as the machine lumbers toward
NJ Transit is leading the environmental review for the
project, which also relies on the federal government and the
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Peter Cooney)