HUDSON COUNTY — Gov. Christopher Christie’s cancellation of the Trans-Hudson tunnel last week has left NJ Transit’s property acquisition efforts for the project in serious disarray, according to published reports.
Hundreds of commercial, industrial and residential landowners whose properties were to be taken by New Jersey to build the proposed Hudson River rail tunnel have been left in the middle of condemnation proceedings against them with no idea what happens next.
Thirty owners of commercial and industrial properties would have lost their land for the above-ground portion of the rail line, including a proposed rail yard, starting at the Malanka Landfill next to the Secaucus Junction rail station and going along Routes 1&9 to the Palisades, according to the report in The Record, which cited a 2008 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the rail tunnel by NJ Transit.
NJ Transit was also seeking easements to build the rail line under the property of another 196 owners, mostly residential, in Union City and Hoboken, the report states.
The project, formally called Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, was to start in Kearny, where a rail yard was to be built, and continue through Secaucus, North Bergen, Jersey City, Union City, Weehawken and Hoboken, before crossing under the Hudson River to 34th Street in Manhattan.
A governmental agency must offer "just compensation" to a property owner when seeking to take land through eminent domain.
The report said NJ Transit hasn't yet filed legal papers on some properties, but has bought and paid for others. Many fall in the middle of that range, with the agency taking some properties but not agreeing to compensation for the property owners, he said.