Feds: Christie Knew Risk Of Commuter Tunnel Costs

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Federal officials say New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knew the Garden State would have to repay federal funds spent on the canceled Hudson River rail tunnel.

The Record newspaper reports Christie successfully urged federal officials in April to use a type of funding agreement that federal law requires to be repaid if the state backed out.

Federal Transportation Department documents show New Jersey Transit sought a new Early System Work Agreement in January to speed up the project.

Christie reaffirmed New Jersey’s commitment to the project in an April 8 letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The governor called the tunnel “critical for the transit riders of New Jersey and the region.”

Christie canceled the project October 27, citing potential cost overruns.

NJ Transit on Thursday hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to fight the Federal Transit Administration’s $271 million bill.

  • Darren from Montclair

    This is truly one of the best decisions made by a politician in decades. Yes NJ will have to pay; the federal government back, and whatever else, but the check comes to 900 miliion. The savings are in the billions, with a B,and are around 7.5. If this tunnel project is so important, let the people who use it pay for it. Increase train fares and watch how many people switch to buses. Why should working class and retired people in Ocean County pay for the convenience of stock brokers and bankers in Montclair? This is a luxury not a necessity. And why isn’t NY paying for any of this? They collect taxes on the Jerseyians working there. It’s Fed. NJ and Port Authority paying for this, and NJ get the bill for all the overages. Great move Gov. Christie, if rail commuters want a new tunnel, let them take up a collection (fat chance).

  • otto

    No doubt Christie knew. It is his JOB to know.

    Sadly, NJ didn’t have much of a choice last election. Corzine vs Christie and NJ loses.

    We need to start seeing the value of third party candidates and not vote strictly Democrat or Republican.

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