Construction on the largest public-transit project in the nation, a commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to Manhattan, was underway earlier this month, until New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that the tunnel would cost $5 billion more than he’d expected, and building it was therefore “completely unthinkable.” Shortly thereafter, following a meeting with U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood, the governor said he’d give the project a second thought. And now he’s thinking. In fact, he said he’d spend this whole weekend “contemplating” whether or not to build the thing.
Yesterday, Ray LaHood admitted that according to his staff’s calculations, the tunnel could indeed cost as much as $4 billion more than previously estimated. The federal government and the Port Authority agreed to cough up $3 billion each, of the estimated $8.7 billion cost of the tunnel, but that still leaves the state of New Jersey to come up with $2.7 billion and some change. So while you think about whatever it is you’re thinking about this weekend, Chris Christie will be ruminating on these numbers, tossing the tunnel around in his mind over and over again. On Monday, he’ll let you know if he’s going to build the thing or not.
N.J. Governor to Evaluate Tunnel as Cost Estimates Rise [City Room/NYT]