TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie said an offer to credit New Jersey $128 million of the $271 million the federal government says it’s owed for an abandoned rail tunnel project is “a good start.”

Christie said Thursday he hasn’t heard directly from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on reducing the tab for the Hudson River tunnel he killed in October.

The Associated Press obtained from Sen. Frank Lautenberg Wednesday a copy of a letter in which LaHood offers to credit New Jersey nearly half the money the state owes — but only if it repays the entire amount first.

Christie said he’d be happy to discuss it personally with LaHood.

Christie recently OK’d hiring a Washington law firm to fight the tunnel tab.

The governor spiked the $8.7 billion project over potential cost overruns.

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