Christie kills N.J. tunnel project

    After two weeks of reconsideration, Garden State governor says his decision to halt tunnel under Hudson River into Manhattan is final.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is sticking by his decision to cancel the largest public works project in the nation.

    Christie said Wednesday the tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan could have ended up costing far more than the estimated $8.7 billion. He said the financial alternatives presented by federal transportation officials would not have taken New Jersey off the hook for potentially billions of dollars of cost overruns.

    “I cannot place upon the citizens of the state of New Jersey an open-ended letter of credit and that’s what this project represents,” Christie said.

    His decision to end the Hudson River rail project is meeting with some criticism.

    Democrats in the state Legislature say the project would have created thousands of jobs and eased commuter congestion.

    Jay Corbalis, a policy analyst for the smart-growth advocacy group New Jersey Future, said he is disappointed with the governor’s decision to kill the project known as Access to the Region’s Core.

    Christie said his decision to end the project is final. He said Wednesday other options to ease commuter congestion will be explored, but the state does not have the money for that now. The governor said New Jersey will consider partnering with Amtrak which is looking at building another tunnel.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.