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?