Sep
30

DOT, New Jersey come to terms on ARC dollars

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It’s been almost a year since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie canceled the ARC Tunnel and made a move to keep the federal dollars explicitly earmarked for the project. After months of wrangling between the government and Christie’s high-dollar attorneys, the two sides have come to an agreement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said this afternoon. In the final settlement, New Jersey will return $95 million to feds while spending a significant portion of the rest on DOT-approved projects.

Per the DOT press release, the federal government will recover all of the $51 million in New Starts money provided to New Jersey for the ARC Project, and those funds will be made available to other areas for transit projects. The other $44 million were provided to New Jersey via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it will be returned to the U.S. Treasury. Furthermore, New Jersey must spent around $128 million it has from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality project funds on transit-related projects that DOT approved and reviewed. I guess the remaining funds — approximately $48 million — will remain with the Garden State.

“We appreciate the support and encouragement of Senators Lautenberg and Menendez in reaching an agreement that is good for the taxpayers of New Jersey, but also helps to improve infrastructure in the state,” Secretary LaHood said. “I thank the governor and his legal team for reaching this agreement.” Now how about that Gateway tunnel or the 7 train to Secaucus?



Categories : ARC Tunnel, Asides

15 Responses to “DOT, New Jersey come to terms on ARC dollars”

  1. Alon Levy says:

    Gateway Tunnel = world-class incompetence on Amtrak’s part. The 7 to Secaucus is fine as an alternative, but why not just quadruple the North River Tunnels instead of trying to build something iconic and expensive?

    • Bolwerk says:

      Why not quadruple the tunnels and build the 7 to Secaucus? They complement each other and other transit priorities for NJ nicely.

      • Alon Levy says:

        The 7 to Secaucus forces an extra transfer near the CBD.

        • Bolwerk says:

          How so? If most of the commuters heading to midtown are headed for an area within walking distance of GCT, which is the case IIRC, 7toSec simply moves a transfer from Penn to Secaucus.

          • Alon Levy says:

            And Alt G eliminates the transfer. The basic problem is that there’s no need for local service between Secaucus and Manhattan that couldn’t be provided better by better-run regional rail (e.g. charging subway fares within the central area, with a fare union with every intersecting transit system).

            • Bolwerk says:

              Alt G is NJT to GCT? I obviously love the idea, but it seems less realistic politically.

              • Adirondacker12800 says:

                So was ARC, they had to wait until Water Tunnel 3 is complete so Water Tunnel 1 could be taken out of service. NYCDEP had reasonable concerns about building a railroad tunnel close to Water Tunnel 1 until there was redundancy in the water system.

  2. BBnet3000 says:

    They could throw the $50 million to the MTA for one of their projects, but thats a drop in the bucket….

  3. Scott E says:

    Gateway isn’t entirely dead. This article from a couple of weeks ago cites $15 mil for “preliminary engineering” for an Amtrak tunnel. I’m not sure if this bill is set in stone after being passed by the Senate or if it needs other approvals, but it’s a step. Hopefully much of the previous work can be restored.

  4. Eric F. says:

    Hmm, well this way more than the zero figure I was predicting. It sounds like NJ is due $100 million in refunds on prepaid liability insurance premiums, so they’ll just be forwarding those refund checks over to the feds.

  5. Al D says:

    Good, now hopefully they can add an additional 2 travel lanes to the planned expansion of the NJTpke. By god, Jim, we need ‘em!

  6. Nathanael says:

    Like I said, the Feds got all their money back from Christie, every dollar.

    Incidentally, CMAQ projects can’t be used for road expansion, because they have to improve air quality.

    Lackawanna Cutoff? Northern Branch? I will be interested.

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  2. [...] in the end it looks like New Jersey is going to get to walk away with about $48 million in federal funds from the project. Of course the really sad part about all of this is that the [...]

  3. [...] Christie Eats Crow, Agrees To Give Back ARC Money He Wasted by Vincent Ferrari Posted on October 3, 2011 Per the DOT press release, the federal government will recover all of the $51 million in New Starts money provided to New Jersey for the ARC Project, and those funds will be made available to other areas for transit projects. The other $44 million were provided to New Jersey via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it will be returned to the U.S. Treasury. Furthermore, New Jersey must spent around $128 million it has from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality project funds on transit-related projects that DOT approved and reviewed. I guess the remaining funds — approximately $48 million — will remain with the Garden State. via secondavenuesagas.com [...]

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