N.J. Governor Rejects Tunnel Project

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announces his state won't participate in a project to build another rail tunnel under the Hudson River into New York City.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that his state won't participate in a project to build another rail tunnel under the Hudson River into New York City.

Christie was expected to withdraw his support for the proposed $8.7 billion project. The

Wall Street Journal

, citing officials with knowledge of the matter,

reported Tuesday

that Christie was going to scrap the project, despite efforts by the federal government and other groups to reach a compromise to let the tunnel be built.

Christie

announced a similar decision on Oct. 7

but later agreed to take another two weeks to consider other options after consulting with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the

Journal

said.

Christie's grounds for rejecting the ARC, or

Access to the Region's Core

, were that it would cost much more than originally expected, and that New Jersey is on the hook for cost overruns. Federal estimates have put the cost of the project as high as $12.7 billion, according to the

Journal

report. As originally planned, the ARC project was supposed to cost around $8.7 billion, with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the federal government putting in $3 billion each, and New Jersey covering the rest.

According to the

WSJ

, a number of potential scenarios were rejected by Christie's administration, including low-cost financing from the federal government and stripping out parts of the project to hold down costs. Of late, the debate has taken on a partisan edge with Christie, a Republican, being criticized for leaving the state to stump for GOP candidates in midterm election races, and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, reportedly saying the federal government had offered to take responsibility for cost overruns.

Work on the tunnel was halted on Sept. 10. Roughly $500 million has already been spent on the project, according to the

AP

, which said the tunnel was the largest transportation project in the country and that completion was expected in 2018.

--

Written by Ross Tucker in New York.

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