TRENTON, New Jersey — The biggest public works project in the US — a $9 billion-plus train tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City — is dead in its tracks, after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he is sticking by a decision announced earlier this month to kill the project because of runaway costs.
The Republican governor rejected a variety of financial proposals offered by the federal government to salvage the tunnel under the Hudson River, saying none of them fully relieved New Jersey of responsibility for overruns.
More than 625,000 people trek into Manhattan from New Jersey each work day, about 185,000 by rail, and even a minor delay translates into long waits.
The decision to abandon construction more than a year after it began burnished the Republican governor's reputation as a cost-cutter but was criticized as foolishly shortsighted by transportation advocates, train riders, union leaders and some Democrats.
"It's a dollars-and-cents issue," Christie said. "I cannot place upon the citizens of the state of New Jersey an open-ended letter of credit."