Despite reports yesterday that the ARC Tunnel could be saved, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced this afternoon that the state will be canceling the trans-Hudson project amidst concerns that the real costs of the project will far exceed the current $8.7-billion. As the federal government has told New Jersey that the state must cover any cost overruns, Christie, as we learned earlier this week, did not believe New Jersey could foot that bill. The $3 billion New Jersey had earmarked for this project will go toward other transportation projects, including a mix of road and rail investments.
While speaking in Trenton this afternoon, Christie issued the following statement: ““The ARC project costs far more than New Jersey taxpayers can afford and the only prudent move is to end this project. There is no doubt that transportation projects are critical to creating jobs and growing our economy. I have asked Commissioner Simpson and Executive Director Weinstein to work with all interested parties – Amtrak, the Federal Transit Administration, the Port Authority, the State and City of New York and our Congressional delegation – to explore approaches to modernize and expand capacity for the Northeast Corridor. However, any future project must recognize the regional and national scale of such an effort and work within the scope of the State’s current fiscal and economic realities.”
Paul Krugman is not amused. Details to come.