By Levon Putney

NEWARK, N.J. (AP / WCBS 880) – A new study says a $9 billion rail tunnel would cut the commuting time between New Jersey and New York City.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney with Sen. Frank Lautenberg

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced the results of the Regional Plan Association study at Newark’s Penn Station on Thursday.

The group says the tunnel would increase NJ Transit’s on-time performance and drive economic growth.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie killed the project because of cost overruns. But the Republican gave it a two-week reprieve after meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday.

Lautenberg helped secure $3 billion in federal funding for the tunnel.

The Democrat has met with an undisclosed major financial firm to discuss private funding to keep the project on track.

More than half a billion dollars have been spent so far.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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