NORTH BERGEN AND BEYOND – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez says that Gov. Christopher Christie’s cancellation of the Trans-Hudson rail tunnel has left New Jerseyans with a “$600 million hole to nowhere.”
After speaking Friday morning at the CSX railway’s opening of the Liberty Corridor Freightway, a major publicly and privately funded project that will allow expanded access for freight trains to the Port of New York and New Jersey and beyond, Menendez (D-NJ) criticized the governor’s cancellation of the $8.7 billion project.
At the end of his speech, Menendez said that the Liberty Corridor came to fruition because federal funds were used correctly. After being asked by the Hudson Reporter if more federal funds could save the tunnel, also known as the Access to the Regions Core (ARC) Tunnel, he spoke of his disappointment of Christie’s decision.
“The state wants to walk away from its responsibility, that is the critical problem…because he [Christie] wants to use these funds that were dedicated to the project and put it into the [State] Transportation Trust Fund,” he said.
He continued: “The bottom line is that the $3 billion dollars that was achieved by [U.S.] Sen. [Frank] Lautenberg and I was the highest federal commitment to any project, not now, but in the history of the United States, so to look to the federal government for more money…what’s disappointing is the governor cancelled the project before the [U.S.] Secretary of Transportation [Ray LaHood] was coming up to see him today, and the Federal Transit Administrator [Peter Rogoff], before he gave them an opportunity to sit down and see if there were any suggestions to bridge the gap.
“It seems to me he had his mind made up. What New Jerseyans now have is a $600 million hole to nowhere and I think that is very sad, considering the 6,000 jobs and the 40,000 permanent jobs and the quality of life that would have been improved for thousands of New Jerseyans that commute to New York.” – Tricia Tirella