New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tomorrow will rule out building a commuter-rail tunnel under the Hudson River after a two-week review of his decision to kill it, said a Republican official with knowledge of discussions about the project.
Christie, 48, a first-term Republican, stopped the project Oct. 7 citing overruns of as much as $5 billion over the initial cost estimate of $8.7 billion. A day later he agreed at U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s request to a review to study options that might save the tunnel.
The governor made his final decision because he was not satisfied that the federal government’s plan would insulate the state from overruns, said the official, who declined to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak on it before Christie’s announcement.
A Christie spokesman, Kevin Roberts, declined to comment. The story was previously reported by the Star-Ledger of Newark.
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, in an e-mailed statement, said the federal government had offered financing options designed to allay Christie’s concerns about overruns. Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey, said the federal offer would “limit or even eliminate New Jersey’s responsibility” for increased costs.
“It was clear from the beginning that Governor Christie planned to kill this project no matter what,” Lautenberg said in the e-mailed statement.
The 8.8-mile (14-kilometer) Access to the Region’s Core project was designed to double New Jersey Transit’s rail capacity into New York City. The tunnel would have ended in a new underground station to be built at 34th Street near New York’s Penn Station terminal.
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