When Governor Christie decided that it was a bad idea to build a new rail tunnel underneath the Hudson River, he made it seem like the project figured to become the region’s answer to the Big Dig. That infamous federally funded highway-tunnel project in Boston was budgeted at $2.8 billion in 1982. The final cost was more than $14 billion in 2007.
Mr. Christie insisted that the so-called ARC tunnel (as in Access to the Region’s Core) would cost billions more than the federal government’s estimate of about $8.7 billion, and that New Jersey would have to pay for 70 percent of the project’s cost. So he abruptly cancelled the state’s participation and effectively killed the idea of replacing the antiquated, century-old tunnel that Amtrak and New Jersey Transit currently use.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently released a report that indicates that the governor’s posturing was more about politics than it was about accountability.
The Neverending Story
The Port Authority has just released the preliminary findings of its agency-wide review, the biggest, if least surprising, news of which is that the cost of redeveloping the World Trade Center continues to sky rocket. The price has risen from the $11 billion estimated in 2008 to a current estimate of $14.8 billion. That is almost twice as expensive as the project was initially expected to cost when first announced in 2006, with a price tag of $8 billion.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blew a wonderful opportunity to kick-start his state’s economy last year when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed on-line gaming in the Garden State. The bill would have put New Jersey in the forefront of tapping a new, and inevitable, source of much-needed revenue.
Now, however, the state’s political leaders will get a chance for a do-over.
Hurricane Irene played matchmaker for the political odd couple of President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The potential 2012 rivals are unlikely allies in the debate over hurricane relief and they’re spending an awkward afternoon together tomorrow touring flood damage in Paterson.
Despite his repeated denials, Christie is viewed by many insiders as Read More