The Government Accountability Office has found that the Christie administration exaggerated the potential costs associated with the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel—the very same costs that the governor used to justify shutting down the largest public infrastructure project in the country. The project, if it had been completed, would have doubled rail capacity under the Hudson River and significantly improved the New Jersey-New York commute.
The report reveals that the $11-14 billion cost estimates used by the Christie administration ran contrary to the state’s own figures, which had not been altered since before Christie became governor. The New York Times reports:
The report by the Government Accountability Office, to be released this week, found that while Mr. Christie said that state transportation officials had revised cost estimates for the tunnel to at least $11 billion and potentially more than $14 billion, the range of estimates had in fact remained unchanged in the two years before he announced in 2010 that he was shutting down the project. And state transportation officials, the report says, had said the cost would be no more than $10 billion.
In a statement today, Tri-State declared that “the governor needlessly cancelled a project that would have been an economically and environmentally prudent investment for New Jersey.” The organization also called on Governor Christie to explain how he plans to improve the commutes of delayed transit riders and drivers stuck in traffic.