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Consortium will play critical role during design of Access to the Region’s Core program

December 13, 2006
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today took another significant step in advancing the region’s most important public transportation project in decades by hiring THE CM Consortium of Newark to provide construction management services for its new trans-Hudson tunnel, and related station, track and yard projects.

“This is another major step forward for a project that will reap huge dividends for the regional economy,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “Mobility is key to continued economic growth, and only a new tunnel will double our capacity to accommodate increasing numbers of rail customers traveling between New Jersey and New York.’’

The decision to hire a construction manager at this early stage of project development, during the preliminary engineering phase, underscores NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to ensure creation of a practical design that will be built on time and within budget.

“Bringing a construction management firm on now reduces the risk of encountering unanticipated problems down the road,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. “The consortium will work to make sure that the design is practical to build, which helps ensure that this once-in-a-generation project will be delivered on time and on budget.”

THE CM Consortium, a tri-venture of Tishman Construction, Parsons and ARUP, along with supporting firms, brings extensive worldwide experience in managing other large railroad construction and tunnel projects, including The Channel Tunnel Rail Link in Great Britain; the MTA Red Line project in Los Angeles; the Washington, D.C. Metro system; the Dulles Airport and Rail System Improvements; the AirTrain and Jamaica Station; and the only two major Tunnel Boring Machine projects in New York City – the New York City Water Tunnel #3 and the Con Edison 1st Avenue Tunnel and Steam Mains.

“The consortium firms are experts in real-world urban construction techniques, and their guidance will be extremely valuable as the design develops and as construction methods for each segment of the project are selected,” said Rich Sarles, NJ TRANSIT Assistant Executive Director for Capital Projects and Programs.

In addition to providing design oversight, the construction manager will make independent cost estimates to validate those made by the engineering team; develop a master project schedule for the engineering, permitting and construction phases; create a quality control plan; and coordinate outreach programs to ensure opportunities for participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in both New Jersey and New York.

The NJ TRANSIT Board awarded THE CM Consortium a contract of $5 million for this initial engineering phase following a competitive procurement process.

The Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) program includes two new single-track railroad tunnels between New Jersey and New York, a new rail station under 34th Street in Manhattan adjacent to Penn Station, and signal and track improvements along and adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

The project will allow for the introduction of one-seat rail service on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley lines, the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair, North Jersey Coast Line south to Bay Head, as well as the Morristown Line west of Dover. It will also create the capacity to connect the future Northern Branch Rail Line directly to Manhattan.

The proposed new multilevel station under 34th Street will provide underground connections to New York City subway lines (6th, 7th, 8th and Broadway) and PATH trains, as well as provide pedestrian connections to New York Penn Station. The project is projected to cost $7.2 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Construction is expected to start in 2009.

In addition to increasing mobility and reducing roadway congestion, ARC promises tangible economic benefits. According to a 2005 study by Economics Research Associates, the project will add $10 billion in gross regional product, 44,000 permanent jobs due to increased regional competitiveness and nearly $4 billion in total personal income within 10 years of completion. During the construction phase, the project is expected to produce 6,000 jobs.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 857,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.