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Cost of NY-NJ Gateway Jumped by $2B to $16B

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Cost of NY-NJ Gateway Jumped by $2B to $16B
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, September 1, 2022 9:46 AM

Gateway tunnel to NYC will now cost $2B more. Officials blame inflation. (msn.com) Must have imported management from California "If that number seems familiar, that’s because it was the high estimate for a predecessor project, the Access to the region’s Core tunnel and deep cavern station canceled by former Gov. Chris Christie in October 2010. Christie scuttled the project after federal officials said the state would be responsible for paying costs higher than the $9.8 billion estimate" As a resident of New Jersey, thank you, Chris Christie Note that $16B was the "high estimate" - not a shovelful of earth has yet been moved on the tunnels - how many think the project will come in at $16B?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 1, 2022 10:04 AM

No-one familiar with that part of the country, whether residents or "exiles" like myself, should be surprised at this.  Not one bit.  Whistling

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, September 1, 2022 11:05 PM

What is delay in starting construction?  Has all real estate been acquired ?  As I understand it eminete domain in NJ allows real estate to be taken with value to be established later?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 2, 2022 7:04 AM

Most of the 'land acquisition' involved in the current Gateway tunnel alternative is subterranean, and surface rights don't apply.

The original Gateway (the one the 'box' constructed under Hudson Yards was supposed to access) ran considerably south and west of the existing tunnels, with curves suitable for high-speed acceleration out of, and deceleration into, the New York terminal area.  I remember seeing a discussion of where the surface land for the ventilation shafts for this were being acquired -- this was more than a decade ago.  (As you might suspect, I found out about this in a news story about the local politicians being agin' it...)

The current wimpy alternative has the new tunnels exiting, on a considerable curve, nearly adjacent to the current ones, which defeats most of the alleged purpose of Gateway as any kind of high-speed access.  I would not be surprised to see further quiet cheapening of the actual operations -- analogous to Californians singling the track and cat for HSR on those expensive viaducts -- by the time we actually get nearer to completion.

The fun thing will be how quickly the old North River Tunnels are rehabilitated.  This could be done extremely quickly, with 'not-too-expensive' purpose-built equipment and class 9 slab track in precast sections.  Now, I remember one fairly amazing unsung project -- I think on the old BQE where there were miles and miles of elevated roadway that were discovered to have road-salt damage, similar to the issues that ruined the West Side Highway.  This caused closure of the road, and I thought, here's that sickening here-we-go feeling, 6 or more years of fussing and fighting my friends, for billyuns and billyuns, before the road is reopened.

As I recall, they had all the repairs done within something like six weeks, with parallel crews and excellent logistic planning and support.  If that can be done once, it can be done again, even with unions, even with rakeoffs, even if it costs much more than anywhere else outside Tokyo.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, September 3, 2022 8:33 PM

It will not surprize this poster that before the new Gateway bores are in service that one of the original North River bores will have to shut down for some longer time than just the weekend shut downs that now are being done.  From some sources it might be the south bore which has more cast iron deteoriation.

Going to 6 trains per hour will really upset the NJTransit operations.

EDIT:  are the cost increases due to anything being included for the full project?  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, September 3, 2022 10:51 PM

BEAUSABRE
how many think the project will come in at $16B?

I think it is past time they dust off the plans for the Milwaukee Road pontoon bridge that used to be in place at Prairie Du Chen, Wisconsin and use that and stop all this "Drunken on Leave Sailor" spending.    

Pontoon Bridge and a few tugboats is my vote.   If the tugs are too expensive then I vote for BaltACD on one of those bicycle paddle wheelers to nudge the bridge open and closed.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:01 AM

CMStPnP
 
BEAUSABRE
how many think the project will come in at $16B?

 

I think it is past time they dust off the plans for the Milwaukee Road pontoon bridge that used to be in place at Prairie Du Chen, Wisconsin and use that and stop all this "Drunken on Leave Sailor" spending.    

Pontoon Bridge and a few tugboats is my vote.   If the tugs are too expensive then I vote for BaltACD on one of those bicycle paddle wheelers to nudge the bridge open and closed.

 
How would such a bridge be anchored against river and tidal currents and how often would said bridge need to be opened for river traffic?
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 1:27 PM

.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 1:32 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
How would such a bridge be anchored against river and tidal currents and how often would said bridge need to be opened for river traffic?

In case you hadn't figured out, he was being savagely sarcastic.

The Hudson is highly tidal but I suspect a powered floating bridge could be constructed, with a retracting center section like that on the old Hood canal bridge.  This would be a total nonstarter with the Rorps of Engineers, however, which requires a high permanent free span (no movable elements) for any Hudson crossing -- hence why the GWB crosses so high up the Palisades, and the other bridges to the north including the Poughkeepsie Bridge and the Castleton Cutoff's bridge are at altitude.

Without that requirement, we'd likely have had a bridge above 'rivercraft' height not later than 1916 (Lindenthal's, with 20 tracks!) and possibly a bridge in place of, or supplementing, the Narrows tunnel, or connecting to the old CNJ four-track line, further south (going almost certainly via the Bay Ridge end of the New York Connecting Railroad and thence cheaply to a variety of connections or onto Manhattan)

It goes without saying that any practical crossing into Manhattan could not have a movable element to accommodate liners, or freight shipping.  Even with the 20 tracks simultaneously occupied, a nightmare for a suspension design like Lindenthal's, you'd be tearing your hair out as a bridgetender.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, September 17, 2022 2:39 PM

Overmod
This would be a total nonstarter with the Rorps of Engineers, however, which requires a high permanent free span (no movable elements) for any Hudson crossing -- hence why the GWB crosses so high up the Palisades, and the other bridges to the north including the Poughkeepsie Bridge and the Castleton Cutoff's bridge are at altitude.

OK then lower the water level for under the bridge with some locks and raise it back up on the other side.    Problem solved.  Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 18, 2022 9:23 AM

CMStPnP
OK then lower the water level for under the bridge with some locks and raise it back up on the other side.    Problem solved.  Smile

Did I actually type "Rorps"?  I could fob this off on Apple's phone correction, but it comes down to poor proofreading even so...

But let's look at this analytically.  [note to anyone not interested in theoretical operations in the New York area, you can stop reading at this point...]  Consider the width of the Hudson at, say, the location of Lindenthal's later bridge point, and the mass flow of water there at different tides.  What is actually required is a lock below the river surface, a bit like a cofferdam, that would allow sufficient depth for the upper works of a ship to clear while maintaining sufficient water depth beneath the hull.  That is a hell of a lot of pumping out for a liner or warship, presumably under the same wartime conditions that would have dropped a high movable span like a lift bridge, or a floating span that could be retracted or hinged, which were considered as approaches.  Then you have the situation guiding the ship through the lock, probably with mules, and having tugs as needed.

Note the length of the lock either side of the bridge, multiplied by the fixed width of the lock.  Even for smaller boats that requires a large volume of pumping.  Of course you could always have multiple locks under different parts of the span and separate smaller ships or tows from larger ones.  But along about this point, with electric locomotives and MU trains becoming attractive, tunnels sure are a better alternative...

Remember the CNJ accident in 1958? Think that sort of thing made with enough span and lift to clear ocean liners and battleships.  Perhaps a double-Bascule as used in Canada.  But quick-acting while being failure-tolerant.  An analogue of the fast/robust/cheap - choose any two idea would probably apply here: you're not going to be energy-efficient with the number of times a Hudson crossing would have to be opened, either circa 1916 or as vessel size increased in latter years.

In any case the alternative still remained an expansion of the bridge across the Arthur Kill (which could probably involve multiple parallel movable double-track spans) plus a tunnel at the Narrows with 'enough capacity' for the required traffic -- see the stillborn later version of 'Hylan's Holes' which was explicitly given freight clearances.  In my opinion the very expensive grade-separation of SIRT was to facilitate operation through a Narrows tunnel with all the new traffic that tunnel was supposed to have generated.

Of course... just as actually observed historically... you'd still have to negotiate the Connecting Railroad from Bay Ridge around to get to Manhattan -- this involving much the same 'logistics' as the PRR service just at the start of the Depression to German liners leaving via the Narrows.  With what may have been colossal transfer and through freight moves at the same time, in place of carferries... this involving a fairly dramatic 90-degree or so curve from the eastern Narrows tunnel approach to the trackage at Bay Ridge.  Would have been interesting to see how this panned out, especially with expedited connections with the LIRR further north and east on the 'original' NYCR.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Sunday, September 18, 2022 2:32 PM

Overmod
Think that sort of thing made with enough span and lift to clear ocean liners and battleships.

The super carriers had tilting masts so they could fit under the Brooklyn Bridge to and from New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn. This is the USS Ranger

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