RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS New York) – The light at the end of the tunnel has just been turned off.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has terminated the Hudson River tunnel that would have doubled train capacity between New Jersey and Manhattan, saying his state just can’t afford it.
“This decision is final. There is no opportunity for reconsideration of this decision on my part. I am done,” Christie said.
After weeks of trying to find a way to keep the ARC Tunnel project alive, Gov. Christie said, no one in the federal government or New York cam forward with the at least $2.5 billion it would take to cover projected cost overruns that New Jersey taxpayers would then have to pay.
That means the project will soon shut down, and with it will go about 6,000 jobs.
“It would totally devastate a lot of workers,” one construction worker said. “There’s a lot of workers laid off.”
While Christie took pains to praise Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s efforts through Sunday to make the project happen, LaHood issued a statement on Wednesday blasting Christie.
“I am extremely disappointed in Governor Christie’s decision to abandon the ARC Tunnel project. [This] means commuters will see no end to traffic congestion and ever-longer wait times on train platforms,” LaHood said.
Susan Schneider, a commuter from Ridgewood, said that is exactly what she’s worried about.
“People are out of work, people need jobs,” Schneider said. “People don’t want to sit on trains for two hours.”
So what about commuters who thought they’d be getting some relief?
“For the better part of the last 20 years, my wife made that commute. Believe me, I heard about that commute often,” Christie said. “But the fact of the matter is that I don’t have the money.”