RFP process started for 3 NEC PE projects

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Jun 8, 2009
For those interested, on the Amtrak Procurement Portal website under the construction category, there are 3 critical NEC PE projects asking for contractors to submit letters of interest to qualify for the RFPs. I'm quoting the core description of the projects below because they provide insight into the current plans. After the PE phases, the trick will be to get thr funding to build the replacement brudge and tunnels.

Susquehanna Bridge Replacement: $22 million was awarded for PE/NEPA

States that the new bridge is to provide a 4 track capacity.

The existing Amtrak-owned Susquehanna River Bridge was constructed in 1906. It is integral to the NEC and is comprised of a riveted thru-truss swing-span and 17 pin-connected, deck-truss approach spans carrying the double-tracked, electrified NEC main line at a major river crossing. The existing two-track bridge is a choke point along the NEC and precludes construction of additional track capacity along this segment. Occasional disruption of rail traffic occurs when the swing span is opened for marine traffic. This multi-disciplinary, multiple system project will be implemented on a heavily trafficked section of the NEC without disrupting existing service levels.
The first phase of the Project is comprised of PE and NEPA Services and associated Project Management (PM) Services. PM Services have been solicited and short-listed firms are preparing proposals during September 2012. The second solicitation of this first phase is the subject of this request for statement of qualifications, and is for PE Services. The third and future solicitation will be for NEPA Services. Firms will not be awarded more than one of these three concurrent contracts. Partners within a Joint Venture (JV) and subcontractors will similarly be prohibited from participating on more than one of these concurrent contracts. Any firm currently associated with preparing solicitation materials for the PM Contract will be permitted to submit a letter of interest/ statement of qualification for the PE Contract; however, if that firm is on the team selected for the PM Contract, the firm will be prohibited from further consideration for the PE or NEPA contracts.

PE is one service component of Phase 1 of the Susquehanna Bridge Project, and is the subject of this solicitation. The primary products anticipated to come from PE are a conceptual (10% level) design of feasible alternatives for bridge expansion, reconstruction and/or replacement, and a preliminary design (30% level) of the preferred alternative determined by the NEPA process. PE, in coordination with the NEPA process conducted by others, will identify the type, size, and location of the new railroad bridge structures providing four track capacity. PE will identify construction strategies and constructability issues in order to complete the project while maintaining railroad operations. PE will provide AMTRAK with sufficient conceptual and preliminary design information, costs, and schedule to progress the design i2 subsequent project phases.
How often is the Susquehanna River bridge opened for marine traffic?

Final Design Services for Gateway Tunnel

Description: The Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan, May 2010 (“The NEC Master Plan”) projects a significant increase in passenger ridership and Amtrak and NJ Transit train service across the Hudson River by the year 2030. The existing 100-year-old, 2-track North River tunnels and NY Penn Station passenger platforms are operating at or near capacity during peak travel hours. Additionally, track time to perform needed maintenance in the tunnels can only be accomplished at night or during weekend track outages.
Since the NEC Master Plan report was released, Amtrak has performed evaluations of the technical feasibility of adding two new tracks under the Hudson River and of tying these new tracks into the existing Penn Station complex while also adding additional passenger platform capacity and tracks. Within Manhattan, Amtrak has developed a preferred, conceptual track alignment design and tunnel type (cut-and-cover, reinforced concrete box).

During the same time, Related Cos., a real estate development corporation, has advanced plans to develop the block bounded by 10th and 12th Avenues and 30th and 33rd Streets, known as the Hudson Yards. Part of Related’s development plans will involve creating a cover platform for aerial overbuild above the Hudson Yards rail storage facility of LIRR. This construction encompasses the area of the proposed tunnel. The design is beginning in late 2012, and construction may begin as early as mid- 2013.

The layout and design of Amtrak’s planned tunnel needs to be coordinated with the cover platform design and construction by Related Cos. Coordination with LIRR, the owner of the Hudson Yards, is also required.

The selected design engineer shall produce 1) final design horizontal alignment and profile track geometry between Amtrak Penn Station “A” Yard and a proposed ventilation shaft near 12th Avenue in Manhattan, approximately 2000 linear feet, and 2) tunnel design documents prepared ready for construction for the critical 800-foot section between the east side of 11th Avenue and west side of 10th Avenue, to be fully coordinated during design and usable by local developer, Related Cos., for incorporation into Related Cos. construction documents for work within the Hudson Yards overbuild. This design is tentatively scheduled to be completed by June 30, 3013.
B&P Tunnel Replacement project

Description: Amtrak has partnered with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to begin the first phase of a Project to improve a portion of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in Baltimore, MD. Funding for the first phase is provided by a High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Grant, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The objective of this Project is to provide a new two track tunnel approximately two miles long that is functionally parallel to the existing Baltimore & Potomac (B&P) Tunnel in Baltimore, MD and after this new tunnel is in service, rehabilitate the existing B&P tunnel, opened in 1873. Upgrading a portion of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor under West Baltimore immediately south of Baltimore Pennsylvania Station is warranted to ensure the long term serviceability of the NEC and to support strategic growth of intercity and local/commuter rail traffic. This multi-disciplinary, multiple system project will be implemented on a heavily trafficked section of the NEC without disrupting existing service levels.

The first phase of the Project is comprised of Preliminary Engineering (PE) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Services and associated Project Management (PM) Services. The PE Contract is the second of three solicitations of this first phase; the Project Management Contract was the first. The final solicitation of this first phase will be for NEPA Services. Firms will not be awarded more than one of these three concurrent contracts. Partners within a Joint Venture (JV) and subcontractors will similarly be prohibited from being on more than one of these concurrent contracts. This advertisement applies specifically to the PE effort. Amtrak shall have an option, in the future and at its sole discretion, to add additional engineering services, up to and including Final Design of the project, subject to Amtrak’s receipt of an acceptable proposal or proposals for such services from Contractor. Nothing herein shall obligate Amtrak to award such additional engineering services to the Contractor.

The PE Contractor will investigate local geology, topography, and existing rail and third party infrastructure to optimize the design of a proposed new B&P Tunnel within the context of existing and planned Amtrak, MARC, and Norfolk Southern operations. Each railroad discipline will be considered to account for issues relating to Track, Structures, Electric Traction, Signals, Communications, Security, Tunnel Ventilation and Fire & Life Safety. The PE Contractor shall also account for existing and consider the need for adjacent, ancillary, and municipal infrastructure, including that which is owned by third parties (e.g. City of Baltimore). PE will be expected to develop all the related systems, sub-systems, and individual components associated with the proposed realignment to a degree in which there are "No Anticipated Changes” that would influence the design of any systems or require reworking of a particular solution. This effort will, by definition, require that some aspects of the proposed infrastructure will be highly developed at the conclusion of PE, while other aspects will be simply conceptual place holders that acknowledge the existence of the system/sub-system/component that will require further refinement during Final Design. The nominal overall level of completion of the PE design effort will be approximately 30%. The PE Contractor is required to provide the services of an Amtrak – ET Approved Electrification Contractor by either self-performing (if qualified) or by subcontracting a qualified contractor (an Amtrak-approved list will be provided with the solicitation).


1. Which street will the ventilation tower be located on for the Gateway Project? (12th avenue and where)?

2. What are the recent updates regarding engineering studies for the Gateway Project and Baltimore Tunnels?

PRR 60

Staff member
Feb 18, 2003
...How often is the Susquehanna River bridge opened for marine traffic?

I don't think the bridge is operated very often. The primary (only?) commercial marine traffic in that portion of the river is tug and barge traffic from the Arundel Quarry located a couple of miles upstream. With water shipment access, that quarry ships to customers all up and down the east coast. The Amtrak bridge has about 50 feet of clearance, so I would think that only the largest ocean going tugs would require operation, and maybe not even those.

George Harris

Apr 6, 2006
now in California
As my grandmother used to say, I must not be holding my mouth right. The only thing I find on the Amtrak procurement portal web site under the construction heading is :AMTRAK Accessible Stations Development Program Contract 201 – Florida.

I did find some discussion on the Susquehanna River Bridge. One in the "Harve de Grace Patch" which gave a description of it. The comments on the article had as much about trying to get a bike crossing of the river out of the project as anything, with most of the rest on land taking, and such. Didn't look for the other projects.
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Honored Member
Aug 22, 2002
Queens, New York

Please stop digging up old topics in which to ask your questions. Either latch on to an existing one or start a new one, and if need be link to an old topic if it happens to be relevant. But digging up old topics just to ask questions only leads to people answering questions or making comments on things that are long past.

Thank you! :)
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