TRENTON, N.J. (AP / WCBS 880) — New Jersey has temporarily halted all new work and suspended additional contract bids on an $8.7 billion rail tunnel to Manhattan.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

The decision comes amid concern from federal officials that the project may go as much as a billion dollars over budget — money New Jersey doesn’t have.

James Weinstein, New Jersey Transit’s executive director, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that the monthlong suspension of all new activity will be used to re-examine the budget numbers. He also hopes to use the time to prove to all parties involved that the project’s $8.7 billion cost estimate is accurate.

Work already under way on the tunnel, including a track underpass in North Bergen and a tunnel segment under the Palisades, will be allowed to continue during the suspension.

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