Analysis: New Jersey Facing Hefty Price Tag For New Rail Tunnels

0118Credit: U.S. Department of Transportation New Jersey entrance to the two century-old tunnels that carry Amtrak and NJ Transit trains into New York City With the two century-old tunnels that carry Amtrak and NJ Transit trains into New York City badly damaged by superstorm Sandy and facing eventual year-long shutdowns for needed repair, Amtrak officials are…

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey Future, NJ DOT | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Analysis: New Jersey Facing Hefty Price Tag For New Rail Tunnels”

  1. Jim Granelli said at 1:55 am on October 23rd, 2014:

    I certainly hope most of the cost falls on the rail riders via ticket prices, because I rarely go into the city via train, or any other way for that matter.

    But then, somehow I just know the general population will get screwed by this.

  2. Bob English said at 7:20 am on October 23rd, 2014:

    This is heading for disaster. Two thoughts:

    1) While I understand that some did not like the original ARC Tunnel plan, the GAO concluded that many of the claims made by the Governor in canceling the project were not true.

    2) Since there was no doubt that a tunnel was going to have to be built in the near future, the NJ $$$ designated for the tunnel should have been set aside in trust and not used to plug up the hole in the TTF just so the claim could be made that gasoline taxes were not raised.

    Like a lot of things in NJ, this is just getting kicked down the road and in the end is going to cost future taxpayers significantly more than it would have otherwise.

  3. Tom Stokes said at 3:49 pm on October 23rd, 2014:

    There is also another option which should be investigated for trans Hudson crossings …namely ferry service.

    What would the cost be to dramatically increase the ferry capacity from several locations in NJ to NYC, both Wall Street Area and mid-Manhattan?

    That is a possible solution to the need to close and repair one tunnel at a time. Since there will be a serious delay in new tunnel construction, this could certainly help the situation.

    Also, why not attract NYC businesses to NJ so fewer NJ residents would need to seek employment out of state? Of course, we would need to make NJ attractive to business so they would relocate here. The more, well paying jobs here in NJ, the better for our economy.

  4. Sancho Panza said at 2:13 pm on October 24th, 2014:

    @”the GAO concluded that many of the claims made by the Governor in canceling the project were not true.”

    Post which ones are most important–complete with citations.

  5. Bob English said at 5:42 pm on October 24th, 2014:

    @Sancho…The report is online (google “gao arc tunnel report) and is summarized in numerous news articles online you can pick from including these:



  6. Sancho Panza said at 7:33 pm on October 25th, 2014:

    There were no “untruths,” as asserted. There were differences in the cost estimates between the leaked G.A.O. report and already revised estimates. From 2010:

    “What a difference a year makes. Today, officials around the region are awaiting formal word that the $8.7 billion tunnel is dead, and that NJ Governor Chris Christie will revert NJ’s $2.7 billion to its transportation trust fund, mostly for roads. We can’t afford the overruns, Christie has said. It’s time for belt-tightening.” http://www.wnyc.org/story/285857-arc-tunnel-groundbreaking-what-a-difference-a-year-makes/

    The state’s share of the all-of-a-sudden $10 billion tunnel was now 25%, with no cap, as the costs could only balloon from there, easily reach the $14 billion mark. And that did not even include the state’s share of the Port Authority participation.
    And none of that included the $770 million required for a whole new bridge in Jersey so trains could get to the tunnel.

    To add to that, the same report notes: “you’ll hear Governor Corzine talking about how both Democrats and Republicans from both states came together to make the project happen. “It’s been bipartisan, something that we all have worked on,” he said. “Governors [George Pataki] [Eliot] Spitzer, [David] Paterson, all pitched in.”

    Corzine, as usual, was full of hogwash, trying to bullcrap his way by trying to imply that New York was participating when it wasn’t even contributing a penny.

    The G.A.O. report turns out to be nothing short of ax grinding, as the Federal Transportation Administration showed so clearly: “The projected costs increased from $7.4 billion to $10.9-$13.7 billion in 2010, which was confirmed by the federal government’s own assessment. “It was the FTA’s own projections, in an August 2010 memo, that confirmed a rise in projects costs from $8.7 billion to anywhere between $10.9 and $13.7 billion, not including the $775 million Portal Bridge Project that was necessary to complete the ARC project in its entirety.” http://www.wnyc.org/story/198550-report-disputes-nj-governor-chris-christies-arc-tunnel-fears/