New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to stop anything that puts his state in a deeper hole, even if that hole is the $8.7 billion Trans-Hudson Tunnel.
Facing an alarming budget crisis which includes a highway trust fund that is on the brink of bankruptcy, Christie said he would not move forward on a project that pins huge cost overruns on New Jersey.
“[The project] went from $5 billion to $8.7 billion in what was clearly a rush by the Corzine administration to have gold shovels and put them in the ground and try to get [former Gov. Jon] Corzine re-elected,” Christie said during a press briefing. “And I’m concerned that their evaluations of the price of this project was as successful as his re-election campaign was.”
On Sept. 11, NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein issued a 30-day work stoppage, shutting down new construction and any future bidding on the subway tunnel project.
The project, also known as the Access to the Region’s Core, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will more than double the rail capacity between New Jersey and New York.
If the project is suspended, $3 billion worth of federal grant money could be in jeopardy.
“Let’s figure out how much this thing’s going to cost and how we’re going to pay for it,” said Christie. “I just think that’s a common sense way to approach things. We’re in a 30-day mode to have somebody give me a realistic idea of how much money is at stake here.”