New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he’s willing to put money into construction of a rail tunnel to New York City only if the state and city contribute.
Christie in October killed a planned conduit under the Hudson River, citing the prospect of overruns of as much as $5 billion on the $8.7 billion project. The governor, a first-term Republican, said New York state and city weren’t putting in enough.
Since that decision, Amtrak, the U.S. long-distance passenger railroad, has raised the prospect of digging a tunnel to New York’s Pennsylvania Station, the governor said. He and city transportation officials have also discussed a plan to extend the No. 7 subway line to Secaucus, he said.
“Do we need another tunnel under the Hudson River for mass-transit?” Christie, 48, said yesterday at a transportation summit in Trenton. “Yes, I’ve never denied that. I am not going to sign on as governor to deals that are bad for the taxpayers of New Jersey; bad deals in terms of the way the project is put together; and bad deals in terms of fairness in the region.”
After the demise of the tunnel project, known as Access to the Region’s Core, Christie also received calls from New York’s then-Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Manhattan real-estate developers, the governor said. “That shows you who stood to benefit the most from that project,” he said.
The 8.8-mile (14-kilometer) tunnel was expected to double rush-hour capacity to and from New York City. Christie’s administration has rejected a demand from the U.S. government to repay $271 million in federal funds spent on the project.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.