It's Official: ARC Tunnel Project Is Dead

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has cancelled plans for a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan's Penn Station. The tunnel was supposed to more than double the number of commuter trains that could come into New York City and relieve many of the delays that passengers experience every morning.

"The current economic climate in New Jersey does not allow for this project to continue,"  the Republican governor says.

Christie put the project on hold last month to undertake a detailed cost review. On Thursday, he says that analysis showed that instead of costing $8.7 billion, the real cost will be closer to $12 to $15 billion.

Although the federal government would have paid for a large portion of the tunnel, New Jersey and the Port Authority would have been responsible for cost overruns. Christie says he's not letting New Jersey residents -- who he says are the most heavily taxed in the country -- take on that burden.

The Federal commitment to the project was capped at $3 billion. Christie says his administration will seek other ways to modernize and improve rail capacity.

The tunnel broke ground last summer, and so far, New Jersey has spent almost half a billion dollars on it. The state expects to get reimbursed for part of that from the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA wouldn't comment except to say that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expects to speak with Christie Firday to "discuss a path forward."


New Jersey residents have mixed feeling about the demise of a tunnel that could have seriously cut down their commute time.

John Adams says New Jersey needs the infrastructure:

"It's been postponed for too many years already, " Adams says. "I'd like to see it go through, albeit it's going to be expensive. We know that, but we need it."

Lydia Di Guido agrees with Christie that if the state doesn't  have the money, then the tunnel should be a no-go:

"I wouldn't start an addition to my home if I couldn't finish it, so why would I want NJ state to do that," DiGuido says. "The way I run my home is the way we should run the government, If you can't afford it, don't do it."

Updated 3:10 p.m.


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Comments [6]

Nov. 17 2010 01:50 PM

Finally someone who stands for not biting off more than we can chew. Lets do this project when we can afford it. Would you want to build an extension to your house when you're broke??

Oct. 27 2010 09:45 PM
robert blumenthal

if i want to shoare a comment about radio programming do i have to get a password & login? as a long time monthly sustainer, can i just pass on a comment? here 'tis: pls don't air radio rookie more than once a day during prime news hours & edit them. frankly, (i don't mena to sound like scrooge) but they're too long & not that engrossing.

Oct. 07 2010 09:59 PM
Carl R. from Brooklyn

When they Long Island RR is extended to Grand Central Terminal, the New York MTA will discover that -- contrary to what they think -- they will not need as many trains going into Penn Station anymore; , there should then be more room to get all the trains through from New Jersey on time. It's amazing that all the trains from New Jersey run on one inbound and one outbound track. The delay isn't necessarily in the tunnel, but where the trains go afterward. If there is more room to store them away and turn them around less; the delays will probably decrease on those single tracks.

Oct. 07 2010 05:20 PM
Uncle Sam from Westchester

The sale of the Farley Post Office from the Feds to the State is in violation of Federal Law i heard.
Even though the plan violates the NHPA of 1966 the preservationists groups are still pushing for it on the taxpayers dime...let those morons pay for it.

The game is over there is no more money kids!

Oct. 07 2010 03:25 PM
Betty Boop from NYC

Now NY can kill the pointless 5 billion dollar waste called Moynihan Station and come up with a cohesive plan instead of multiple legacy projects.
They can start by having private entities pay for these things...the tax payers did not build Penn Station and current taxpayers should not either.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Corp built Penn Station!

Oct. 07 2010 03:21 PM

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