The delay in building a platform over the western rail yard isn’t the only hold-up at Hudson Yards.
The 28-acre complex’s eastern half opened in March. But, as we reported last week, Stephen Ross’ Related Companies and Oxford Partners can’t start work on a deck over the exposed western train yard until their plans are approved by the Long Island Rail Road — which the developers are still waiting on a year after they submitted them.
Now, it turns out that other structural issues stand in the way as well.
Related, the LIRR and Amtrak are in what a source called a “stalemate” over where to relocate LIRR venting units that must be moved for Amtrak to build the final leg of a “box tunnel” to connect Penn Station with Gateway, the proposed new tunnel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.
The box tunnel will run beneath the western yard’s southern edge. Although the deck can be built ahead of the box tunnel, which is waiting on funds, everything’s so interlocked that some officials fear unpredictable delays if engineering issues aren’t resolved.
Insiders have conflicting takes on the situation. The confusion isn’t helped by the participants’ refusal to speak on the record.
Some sources claim that relocating the LIRR vents could get in the way of building parts of the platform. That means Related might not be able to finish the deck even after it starts.
But other, equally wellplaced sources say that the vents won’t be an issue — “it’s just up to Related and Amtrak to coordinate,” one said.
The time frame for the box tunnel itself is unknown because, to build it, Amtrak needs $420 million in federal funds as part of a larger package of dough for the $12.5 billion Gateway — but the request is tied up in Washington.
Gateway Development Corp. spokesman Stephen Sigmund said the concrete casing for the box tunnel “is fully designed and ready to build. All of the partners are working together to get this section funded and constructed as quickly and cost effectively as possible.”