The cost of scraping the Trans-Hudson tunnel project continues to mount for New Jersey.
According to the New Jersey Star Ledger, the interest on the amount owed to the U.S. DOT--$271 million—is costing taxpayers $225,000 a month, and legal fees to fight the matter are amounting to another $300,000 every 30 days. The interest could be frozen once an appeal is filed, but that could take some time.
“[New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie] is saying they don’t owe anything, and he’s on unsound ground,” Martin Robins, a transportation expert at Rutgers University, told the Star Ledger. “I suggest we should be talking in terms of collaboration and reduction in the debt that he owes and that he caused by the stomping of this project.”
Christie’s defense team, believes they are on solid ground when it comes to the $271 million payback demand. Law firm Patton Boggs claims that New Jersey had won $219 in stimulus funds and transportation grants before it agreed to terms with the federal government on the Trans-Hudson project. New Jersey then applied that lump sum to the job.
The Obama administration has dismissed the argument, because it claims Christie fully understood that the pre-stimulus loan was marked for the Trans-Hudson.