New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced this week that his final decision was to kill the Hudson River Tunnel project, because...you know...the state and New Jersey-ites simply cannot afford it at this time. Oh but wait! The feds got to him and now he says he will reconsider, after meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
LaHood put some options on the table, don't cha know. No doubt, none of them assure New Jersey residents there will be no increased costs via the tunnel. Projected cost overruns from $2.3 billion to $5.3 billion are predicted, for the project known as ARC. Still yet, Christie said this:
"The fact that the ARC project is not financially viable and is expected to dramatically exceed its current budget remains unchanged," the governor said in a statement today.
"However, this afternoon Secretary LaHood presented several options to potentially salvage a trans Hudson tunnel project. At the secretary’s request, I’ve agreed to have executive director of NJ Transit Jim Weinstein and members from his team work with U.S. Department of Transportation staff to study those options over the next two weeks.”
At a news conference this afternoon following the stunning development, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said the governor and the U.S. Department of Transportation will come to the negotiating table to revive the tunnel project.Apparently, the Hudson River Tunnel will be home to two rail tunnels and will lead to a new train station in New York City, 200 feet below 34th Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.
Increased bridge, tunnel and rail fares are funding the project. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in June 2009.
The feds (taxpayers everywhere, you...me) supplied $3 billion in federal funding earmarks. I do not live in New Jersey, but fellow blogger, Chris at WyBlog does. Read what he had to say about the tunnel cancellation, before this "reconsideration" was announced.