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Hudson Tunnel Killed

 
 
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:12 pm
Quote:
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Thursday that he has decided to terminate the construction of a commuter train tunnel between northern New Jersey and Manhattan because of escalating estimates of the project’s cost.

Until last month, the project had been estimated to cost $8.7 billion. But after his staff reviewed the project, Governor Christie said they concluded it would cost more than $11 billion, and possibly as much as $14 billion.

The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had pledged $3 billion each toward the tunnel, but Mr. Christie said New Jersey could not afford to pay the balance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/nyregion/08tunnel.html?_r=1&hp

OK, I have been arguing this about this project for years with my railfan buddies, my position was that this was a hell of alot of money to spend, that could more productively be spent elsewhere. I wrote some scathing commentary on the NJ and NY Senators who were the main drivers of this project. I also said that we had spent a lot sympathy money on NYC after 9/11 and predicted that the money would run out and this project would never be built...I said that NY and NJ had over reached. I was generally correct, but I said that it would be the feds who pulled the plug, I never figured either of the states or the Port authority would.

But this speaks to a problem that is much bigger than this project, and that is that we now routinely can not put together the political support to do big project, and when we do we usually do them poorly. This is a classic sign of a country and a civilization in decline.

Take note also that this project appears to have been approved based upon cost estimates that are so wildly out of reality that the creation of them can only have been caused by incompetence or fraud....another problem that we routinely see out of the Feds. The Federal government can no longer be trusted to be honest nor to get things done well.

So how much money is going to be flat out wasted here I wonder? $600 million already spent, then how much more will it cost to cancel the contracts already written?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 859 • Replies: 8
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talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:36 pm
@hawkeye10,
If they stop now it will be even higher in the future. Pay now or later with a higher price tag. with so many unemployed people they should be able to get workers. You don't want to restart a project when unemployment is low.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:46 pm
@talk72000,
Out here in Washington State the Government prides itself on doing honest estimates, so on the projects that were written up pre-Great Recession the actual costs are coming in way under budget, as contractors are willing to work for a lot less money then planned. This is the IDEAL time to do projects that really are needed in the next 20 years.

The case for this tunnel was never made to my satisfaction however.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:50 pm
@hawkeye10,
I watched several dvds called Extreme Engineering and there was one about Boston downtown underground extending of Highway 90 thru downtown Boston. It was amazing. Also there was one on New York underground with Don Wildman and how the 9/11 affected the subway.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 07:23 am
This is the basic response I was thinking of making, but Paul Krugman of the NYTImes expressed it better than I could:

The End of the Tunnel

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/opinion/08krugman.html?_r=1

talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 07:13 pm
@Green Witch,
I guess Christie is a Republican and don't want the Democrats to succeed in the stimulus.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 07:49 pm
@talk72000,
Quote:
I guess Christie is a Republican and don't want the Democrats to succeed in the stimulus.
I think the case is that this project is not worth to New Jersey what it would cost NJ to build if the honest estimates are correct. Lets remember that this project was sold with low ball estimates, and that NJ was pressured into the deal.

This tunnel would benefit the entire North East Corridor if it is needed at all, this project should never have depended so much on NJ money. But as I said, I was never sold on this tunnel being needed in the first place. There are a lot of ways to increase the seat capacity in this tunnel, the cheapest is to put more seats on each train. I was never sold that their is a capacity problem, though I remain open to being convinced. I have always thought that this project was being done for reasons other than transit needs.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Oct, 2010 01:24 am
Quote:
The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It’s losing its soul. It’s speeding down an increasingly rubble-strewn path to a region where being second rate is good enough.

The railroad tunnel was the kind of infrastructure project that used to get done in the United States almost as a matter of routine. It was a big and expensive project, but the payoff would have been huge. It would have reduced congestion and pollution in the New York-New Jersey corridor. It would have generated economic activity and put thousands of people to work. It would have enabled twice as many passengers to ride the trains on that heavily traveled route between the two states.

The project had been in the works for 20 years, and ground had already been broken when the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, rejected the project on Thursday, saying that his state could not afford its share of the costs. Extreme pressure is being exerted from federal officials and others to get Mr. Christie to change his mind, but, as of now, the project is a no-go.

This is a railroad tunnel we’re talking about. We’re not trying to go to the Moon. This is not the Manhattan Project. It’s a railroad tunnel that’s needed to take people back and forth to work and to ease the pressure on the existing tunnel, a wilting two-track facility that’s about 100 years old. What is the matter with us?

The Chinese could build it. The Turks could build it. We can’t build it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/opinion/09herbert.html?hp

Herbert.....on the money again.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Oct, 2010 12:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
I am not sure of the total details. It should have been a regional thing where all parties contribute. Yes, NJ is really small. I had a seminar there once.
0 Replies
 
 

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