(North Bergen, NJ -- Scott Gurian, WNYC) Supporters of a new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River rallied Tuesday in North Bergen, New Jersey, to save the project, saying it represents thousands of construction jobs for the region.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has put the project, known as the ARC Tunnel, on hold pending a review of the costs. Speaking today in front of hundreds of unionized construction workers, William Mullen, the president of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, said New Jersey can't afford to lose those jobs in tough economic times.
"Is this state broke, and doesn't have the money?” he asked. “Yes. But do we have to find a way to come up with it? Yes we do! If we're gonna make this state grow and survive for our children, our grandchildren, it has to be done."
The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that the unemployment rate in the construction industry rose to 17.2 percent last month.
Governor Christie has said he doesn’t want New Jersey taxpayers on the hook for cost overruns. After an appeal from the U.S. Department of Transportation, he is expected to announce later this week whether he's killing the project once and for all.