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.
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?