New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s Oct. 27 decision to spike a major new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River, which was set to be the largest U.S. public-works project, is causing ripple effects across the region and the country. Industry proponents are hoping for stronger support for similar but still-viable projects from Congress and from U.S. employers.
Backers of the New Jersey rail link, called Access to the Region’s Core, could not secure Christie’s support because he feared the state would be on the hook for cost overruns some said would boost the project price to as much as $13.7 billion from an estimated $8.7 billion. Christie emphasized his objection to costs not covered by $6 billion in funds from the Federal Transit Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, despite mediation by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.