Chris Christie Cancels Plans For New Rail Tunnel Between NJ and Manhattan

rail tunnelJUST IN: Gov. Chris Christie has cancelled plans for a decades-in-the-making, $8.7 billion rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan saying the state can’t afford to pay for cost overruns on the underway project. (See video of Lakewood Candidate Howard Kleinhendler talking about the rail plans). Construction on the project began last year and was scheduled to be completed in 2018. The largest federal transportation project in the country, it was expected to double train traffic in and out of New York City during peak commute times.

But over the years, the cost for the tunnel has also nearly doubled as well.

It started at $5 billion in 2005 and grew to $8.7 billion by 2008. In recent months, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff has made public statements that put the price tag between $9 billion and $10 billion.

At a news conference Thursday, Christie said: “I can’t put taxpayers on a never-ending hook.”

New Jersey had committed $2.7 billion to the project. The federal government and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had each pledged $3 billion.

A month ago, the Republican governor ordered a 30-day halt to all work on the tunnel over concerns that the project would go over budget.

Plans for the project had been in the works for about 20 years.

Currently, NJ Transit and Amtrak share a century-old two-track tunnel beneath the Hudson River. The new tunnel would add two more tracks, doubling the number of NJ Transit trains that could pass under the river.

Officials said it would create 6,000 construction jobs and add at least 40,000 new jobs after it is completed.

Christie’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, broke ground on the tunnel in June 2009, a few months before the gubernatorial election that he lost to Christie.

During his campaign for governor last year, Christie supported the project.

But as soon as he announced the work stoppage, lawmakers and transportation officials suggested Christie had planned to scrap the project and to use the state’s share of the money to pay for the nearly broke Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for local road projects and existing rail repairs.

Christie has refused to raise the state’s gas tax, which is among the lowest in the country, to replenish the fund. AP

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4 COMMENTS

  1. why do you think it went from 5 billion to 10 billion?

    gov and union workers who want more and more money for doing less.

    its a great idea. cancel the project. bring these unions to thier knees. then finish it at a lower cost.

  2. remember cheaper labor brings unsafe conditions …would you like to drive in a tunnel that was built by the lowest bidder?? I wouldn’t

  3. Dear Come on NOW
    Spoken like a true union member. The usual diatribe from the union is ‘well if we don’t build it, it probably won’t be safe because it’ll be built by some unskilled worker, probably even illegal. Sorry bud but the party is over. You and your devious friends are going to learn that more and more we don’t want or need you and your exorbitant services. No longer will it take 10 guys 5 day to do a job that one hard working none union worker can do in a day. It has become glaringly obvious that we are being robbed, and the governor is bringing an end to it. Finally a man who is strong enough to stand up to these lazy bullies.

    Christie for President. It he can clean up NJ, he’ll do great in the White House.

  4. i totally agree with number 3. and number 2 must be a union member. because number ones comment is not about if unions do batter labor or not, rather it was about cristie busting up unions. its no secret what the govs opinions about union are and what he plans to do with them.

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