NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The canceled rail tunnel project under the Hudson River that has already cost New Jersey hundreds of millions of dollars could wind up enriching the family of a convicted mobster to the tune of millions more.
NJ TRANSIT is embroiled in a court battle with the family of Carmine Franco, a Genovese crime family member nicknamed “Papa Smurf,” over a two-acre parcel of land near the northern New Jersey waterfront that was to have been used for a roughly $9 billion transit project. The Access to the Region’s Core project was scrapped in 2010 by Gov. Chris Christie over fears of cost overruns.
NJ TRANSIT acquired the land in early 2010 by condemnation for about $1.6 million, but the Franco family went to court seeking higher compensation. In 2012, a jury said the family deserved $8 million, and the transit agency is appealing the award.