(New York -- Matthew Schuerman, WNYC) New Jersey never put up much of its own money towards the ARC Tunnel. And yet Governor Chris Christie seems poised to cancel the project because of money concerns.
Out of the tunnel’s $8.7 billion budget, New Jersey was contributing just $2.7 billion. Even that figure overstates the case, however. According to transportation officials, only $1.25 billion would come from New Jersey sources: the tolls collected by the NJ Turnpike Authority. Another billion and change comes from the federal government’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), according to transportation officials.
If, or when, the tunnel’s canceled, New Jersey could divert the $1.25 billion in turnpike tolls easily—even to help out the state’s ailing Transportation Trust Fund. Christie will also be able to spend the CMAQ money on other road and bridge projects—although transportation sources say the money will have to be used in accordance with federal regulations, which would rule out its use for the trust fund.
The other $6 billion, contributed equally by the Port Authority and the Federal Transit Administration, is money slated specifically for the ARC Tunnel. Transportation sources say that Christie will have to sacrifice all of that money should he cancel the tunnel. However, presumably some Port Authority projects would take place in New Jersey.
Christie’s stated concern all along, however, was what New Jersey would do if the tunnel ended up costing more than $8.7 billion. According to one legislative source, the current agreement with the Federal Transit Administration calls for the Port Authority and the state of New Jersey to be jointly responsible.
The bottom line: Christie gets loses $6 billion in free money. But he gets to spend a different $2.25 billion on roads and bridges, all the while limiting his liability for cost overruns.
He also wouldn’t need to increase the gas tax to bail out the Transportation Trust Fund,thereby protecting his reputation as a fiscal conservative.
New Jersey legislators approved a $1.7 billion bond deal on Monday that should send thousands of construction workers back to their jobs.
A subway line on Manhattan's Upper West Side was suspended for an hour and a half during this morning's rush hour because of heavy rain.
Expect another weekend of delays, diversions, backtracking and shuttle buses if you're taking the subway. New York City Transit says 16 of the 19 weekend lines will be disrupted as contractors rush to complete construction work.
WNYC wants to hear about your weekend subway experience. Just text "SUBWAY" TO 30644 and record your stories about getting around this weekend.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is taking steps to attract more international passengers to Stewart Airport in the Hudson Valley.
Advocates for the environment and mass transit say Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the defeat of Westway.
It was on September 30th, 1985, when the federal government allowed New York to use more than a billion dollars slated for a proposed expressway along Manhattan's West Side for mass transit instead.
Developer Bruce Ratner said Tuesday morning what many of his critics and even some of his associates have been saying for years: there is no way the entire Atlantic Yards project will be done in 10 years.
They won’t be able to sell you a MetroCard, but New York's next generation of subway intercom will be able to replace some of the functions of the 450-odd station agents that were recently laid off due to budget restraints--and add some new ones.
The new intercoms—a prototype was rolled out during an MTA board committee meeting Monday—will be hard to miss, located in sleek, 6-foot-high columns that are tinged with blue.
Over the next two years, the MTA expects to install thousands of them in each of the city’s 468 subway stations.
Tom Prendergast, the president of New York City Transit, an MTA subsidiary, says the new intercoms weren't planned as replacement for the station agents laid off earlier this year. For one, he said the intercoms will be much more ubiquitous than agents ever were, spread out along train platforms every 200 feet or less, as well as in passageways and outside turnstiles.
The MTA is planning to install thousands of columns throughout its subway stations that riders can use to report emergencies or ask for travel information.
The memorial observance is taking place in Zuccotti Park, kitty corner from the World Trade Center site. This past year, the site has gone through a dramatic transformation as structures have finally started emerging from the ground. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has the latest on the progress of the rebuilding.
Over the past year, key elements in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site and the 9/11 Memorial have finally emerged above street level. But the fate of other pieces of the site remain uncertain. WNYC's annotated map of site provides details on each building on the site, its developer and the status of development.
Subway riders set off alarms on emergency exits at subway stations so frequently that they are ignored or even disabled.
Gov. David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and developer Larry Silverstein gave their annual update on the progress of rebuilding the World Trade Center Tuesday. This time, there was actually something to see from the windows overlooking the site.
A labor union has won a 15-month fight for the right to represent about 300 employees at an E-ZPass customer service center on Staten Island. The National Labor Relations Board announced late Wednesday that the employer's objections to the union election, held in May 2009, were without merit.
A new campus for biotech and pharmaceutical companies on Manhattan's East Side is slated to open in late September.
The Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at East River Science Park will offer scientific firms valuable laboratory space — and, according to its developer and government leaders, help turn New York into a biotech research hub.
Many more people than expected cashed in on the rebates Con Edison was offering for purchasing energy efficient air conditioners.
Earlier this summer, Con Ed offered $30 back to customers who bought new Energy Star window units for their homes. This wasn’t a typical marketing gimmick meant to pump up sales: Con Ed doesn’t manufacture air conditioners but it is trying to reduce energy consumption and agreed to the rebates as part of a plan required by state regulators.
Tolls for out-of-state drivers on MTA bridges and tunnels could go up to $7 under a new proposal from the authority—but E-ZPass users from New York State would keep paying the current $4.57 for major East River crossings.
The idea is one of two options the MTA’s considering for its bridges and tunnels. The other is more traditional: increase tolls across the board, for cash and E-ZPass, in-state and out-of-state, by about 10 percent.
The new skyscraper in Midtown won't just change the views of and from the Empire State Building.
The City Council's vote this week on a new skyscraper in Midtown could have impacts further downtown, where two office towers at the redeveloped World Trade Center will only reach their planned height if there's sufficient commercial demand.
By an overwhelming vote of 47-1, the City Council voted to allow a skyscraper to be built within four blocks of the Empire State Building in Midtown.