Four-Year, $236.5 Million Contract Will Rebuild Tunnel Systems During Nights and Weekends
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority intends to award a four-year, $236.5 million contract to rebuild the Queens Midtown Tunnel, which was heavily damaged during Superstorm Sandy and since has been operating with temporary repairs. The contract – which would be with Judlau Contracting Inc. – was approved by the MTA Bridges and Tunnels Committee today and is expected to be approved by the full MTA Board on Wednesday.
“Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the need for our infrastructure to be safer, stronger and more resilient to meet the challenge of extreme weather, and today, we’re taking another important step in that direction,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Queens Midtown Tunnel is a vital part of the transportation network for the entire Metropolitan area, and by undertaking this aggressive renovation we can rebuild from the damage caused by Sandy and ensure that it is protected from future storms. I am pleased to see this project moving forward and urge the MTA Board to continue the effort to build back better than ever before.”
The work is expected to begin this summer and will include nighttime and weekend tube and lane closures. The bulk of the work is Sandy-related to help restore the Queens Midtown Tunnel to a pre-storm state of good repair after 40 percent of the length of the tunnel was submerged in 12 million gallons of corrosive salt water during the October 2012 storm. It will also include several Capital projects in an effort to streamline the work and minimize closures that would impact traffic.
The project is being funded with a portion of the $336 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money received for Sandy-related repairs at the Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown tunnels, and through MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ Capital Budget Program.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “This investment in the Midtown Tunnel rehabilitation will restore the roadway to its pre-Sandy state while minimizing disruptions and delays and prioritizing the safety of commuters. I worked to secure federal funding for these repairs, and I’m pleased to see this important project moving forward.”
Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, “Our transportation system must be able to withstand and rebound from severe weather events. Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, I worked hard to secure the $60 billion assistance package to repair and rebuild our region’s infrastructure. I’m pleased these federal funds are helping rebuild the Queens Midtown Tunnel and many other projects in our area. I will continue to work with the Governor and my colleagues in Congress to ensure our region’s resiliency needs are met.”
“When Sandy flooded the Queens Midtown Tunnel with millions of gallons of water, our crews worked valiantly to make immediate repairs and get traffic moving again,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President James Ferrara. “Now we need to fully repair the damage and fortify the tunnel to be more resilient for the future.”
“Combining the Capital Budget work with the necessary Sandy repair and mitigation work allows for one seamless, coordinated project that will be completed more efficiently and with less impact to our customers,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief Engineer Joe Keane.
The Sandy repair and restoration work includes replacing all of the major systems in the tunnel, including electrical, lighting, communications, monitoring and control systems. Restoration and mitigation efforts will also be completed at the tunnel’s mid-river pump room where new submersible pumps will be installed.
Structural work at the tunnel will include the replacement of catwalks, duct banks, wall tiles, ceiling finishes, polymer panels, curbs and gutters. The tunnel will also receive all new roadway LED lighting and new clearly-marked exit signs, lights and emergency phones. The Capital Program work includes replacement of the fire line system in both tubes and the complete rehabilitation of the Manhattan Exit Plaza, including the 36th Street ramp where full and partial joint repairs will be made.
Bridges and Tunnels sent a Request for Proposals for the work to 16 construction firms that were pre-qualified based on their experience and expertise in tunnel repairs and financial capabilities given the complexity of the project. Five of those contractors submitted bids, and Judlau Contracting, Inc. was the lowest bidder.
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