ARC Costs Exaggerated by Governor Christie

Governor Christie overstated cost estimates for the ARC project

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.

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3 Comments on "ARC Costs Exaggerated by Governor Christie"

  1. Clark Morris | April 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    Based on other projects in the region such as the East Side Access, I’ll believe Christie over the DOT. Also the project as proposed was far less useful than the project being proposed by Amtrak. I believe that the ARC design with all its flaws was a craven accommodation to various New York City real estate interests who wanted the benefits (New Jersey was paying the local costs while New York was going to get most of the benefits) without any cost or inconvenience to themselves.

  2. Christie is not stupid – he knows he could triple the estimate and in truth not be exaggerating. He also knew that the ARC proposal to build a tunnel to Macy’s Cellar was an extreme, useless waste of a massive amount of money that wouldn’t solve any problems. As Clark points out above, adding Amtrak capacity is the need.

  3. There is a valid and competing viewpoint among transportation advocates, that the concept proposed for the ‘Gateway’ Project represents a better rail investment than the recently canceled Access to the Region’s Core(ARC) Project. This is because it addresses AMTRAK needs, in addition to needs for NJ commuter rail.

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