Three of four contractor teams prequalified to bid the second major leg of an $8.7-billion transit tunnel under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Manhattan submitted bids that were opened by the owner, New Jersey Transit, on Dec. 15. The project, to dig 5,200-ft-long twin bored tunnels through New Jersey's Palisades rock formation to a river access point in Hoboken, N.J., had been estimated to cost $250 million. A Secaucus, N.J., joint venture of Schiavone Construction Co., Skanska Civil and J.F. Shea was the low bidder at $258.8 million; a joint venture of OHL USA Inc., Davie, Fla., and Tully Construction Co., Flushing, N.Y., bid at $303.7 million, and ARC Constructors, a Pearl River, N.Y., joint venture of S.A. Healy, CCA Civil and Halmar International, bid at $309.8 million. A fourth prequalified team, a joint venture of Barnard Construction Co. Inc., Bozeman, Mont., and Judlau Contracting Inc., College Point, N.Y., did not bid. On Dec. 9 that team won a $583-million contract for a similar tunneling job on the crossing1s Manhattan side. A New Jersey Transit spokesman says it is "pleased" with the bids. He also notes that the due date for prequalification documents for a third contract estimated at about $500 million, for twin 7,300-ft-long connector tunnels to be bored 110 ft below the river, has been extended to Jan. 25, 2010. That contract is set for award next September. See more information at www.thetunnelproject.com.