New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at a press conference on May 2 that he was not surprised that the U.S. DOT was demanding money back for the cancelled Hudson River rail tunnel project. However, now the boisterous leader needs to scramble to come up with a response—or the $271 million.
U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sent a stern letter to Christie last week, stating that New Jersey broke the terms of the federal contract when the governor stopped the project from moving forward. LaHood also told Christie that his mistake was going to affect “the entire Northeast region for generations.”
“It’s troubling for the state of New Jersey,” State Senate President Stephen Sweeney told the New Jersey Star Ledger. “That’s $217 million that will not be used for roads and bridges, and I hope the governor is successful.”
Christie said state attorneys are reviewing LaHood’s demand and weighing all options. LaHood said if New Jersey was uncooperative the U.S. DOT could simply withhold future federal funds.