The Spectacle Blog

Christie Says He Won’t Spend Money NJ Doesn’t Have to Fund Tunnel

By on 10.18.10 | 2:43PM

As of now, Chris Christie is not backing down on his willingness to end the NJ-NY rail tunnel project:

"I don't want to hear about the jobs it will create. If I don't have the money for the payroll, it will not create the jobs," Christie said. "This is not a difficult decision for me." With a $3 billion federal commitment, the ARC tunnel project from New Jersey to Manhattan is intended to double NJ Transit's in-bound capacity of 46,000 passengers during rush hour. Proponents say the tunnel would also take cars off the road, create jobs and raise property values.

The project was initially priced at $8.7 billion, with a $3 billion commitment from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the remaining $2.7 billion pledged by New Jersey under former Gov. Jon Corzine.

Christie killed the project on Oct. 7 after saying the real cost would be at least $11 billion, and that state taxpayers would be on the hook for the rest. The next day, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood convinced Christie to wait two weeks to explore funding options.

"Every person who has criticized this decision, ask them a follow-up" Christie told reporters at the Statehouse today. "How would you pay for it? I can't write the check if there is no money in the account."

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