Gov. Chris Christie today killed the controversial, multi-billion dollar Hudson River commuter train tunnel — America’s largest public works project — ending for now the two-decade-old quest to expand train capacity between New Jersey and midtown Manhattan.His predecessor, naturally, didn't care that taxpayers would be saddled with another Big Dig fiasco.
“I have made a pledge to the people of New Jersey that on my watch I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for,” said the governor. “Considering the unprecedented fiscal and economic climate our State is facing, it is completely unthinkable to borrow more money and leave taxpayers responsible for billions in cost overruns.
Christie said the tunnel project costs “far more than New Jersey taxpayers can afford and the only prudent move is to end this project.”
James Weinstein, the executive director of NJ Transit, in a statement, said while the state recognized the importance and value of a cross-Hudson transportation improvement project, “the current economic climate in New Jersey simply does not allow for this project to continue considering the substantial additional costs that are required.”
Tunnel opponents maintained the project was rushed together so then-Gov. Jon Corzine could get a re-election campaign photo opportunity at a ceremonial groundbreaking in summer 2009. They also said the tunnel, which was to end at West 34th Street in Manhattan, lacked connectivity to Penn Station and Manhattan’s prosperous east side. NJ Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel dubbed it the "tunnel to Macy’s basement."Paul Krugman, meanwhile, is hyperventilating.
Many reports that Chris Christie is about to scuttle the second rail tunnel under the Hudson. If so, it’s arguably the worst policy decision ever made by the government of New Jersey — and that’s saying a lot.Of course he's got a selfish motive for wasting our money.
And yes, if anyone should mention it, I am a resident of New Jersey who often visits Manhattan, and therefore has a personal stake in this project. You got a problem with that?Uh, yes. I'm ashamed you live in my state. What a mealy-mouthed turd. Why have fiscal sanity if it affects Paul Krugman's commuting time?
Update: Krugman has abandoned all hope. I guess insulting Christie didn't have the desired effect.
At some visceral level, I guess I was expecting Christie to back down at the last minute — expecting that there would be a still, small voice in his mind saying, “If we can’t do even this — if we can’t follow through on a project so obviously needed, so clearly in the interests of the state and the nation — what hope is there for America?”Yes, canceling a tunnel project that isn't paid for spells the end of America.