(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) When NJ Governor Chris Christie put the ARC Tunnel on hold last month, he alone made public his cost estimates -- overruns could go as high as $5 billion dollars. Federal officials said they hadn't completed their analysis, but disputed that Christie's numbers were accurate. Just now -- as the tunnel faces its...um, final decision point, the US DOT released the following statement:
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Statement on the ARC Tunnel Project
Washington, DC – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the following statement today on the ARC Tunnel project:
“In response to press reports, I want to clarify the range of numbers regarding the ARC tunnel project.
“The Department of Transportation has estimated the low-range cost of the project at $9.775 billion. The mid-range estimate is $10.909 billion and the high-end range is $12.708 billion.
“For complex projects, we do a range of estimates in the interests of accuracy. However, DOT is committed to working together through the life of the project to keep costs down to the lowest estimate.
“In addition, we’ve been discussing with New Jersey officials the simultaneous construction of the $775 million South span of the Portal Bridge project.
“We are committed to continuing the constructive dialogue we have had for the last two weeks with New Jersey officials to find a way to move forward on the ARC tunnel project, which will double commuter train capacity between New Jersey and New York.”