After tempting commuters with the prospect of doubled NJ Transit rail capacity and then killing it a year after construction started, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood managed to convince Governor Chris Christie to think the plan over yet again.
Christie has agreed to a two-week review of of the project after LaHood traveled to Trenton to talk to the governor. The project had already gotten $6 billion in funds from the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but Christie said the $2.7 billion needed from his state was too much to spend. Christie said in a statement, "The fact that the ARC project is not financially viable and is expected to dramatically exceed its current budget remains unchanged However, this afternoon Secretary LaHood presented several options to potentially salvage a trans Hudson tunnel project. At the secretary’s request, I’ve agreed to have executive director of NJ Transit Jim Weinstein and members from his team work with U.S. Department of Transportation staff to study those options over the next two weeks."
Paul Krugman at the New York Times reeled over Christie's decision to kill the tunnel project, calling it "a perfect symbol of how America has lost its way." He wrote, "It was a destructive and incredibly foolish decision on multiple levels. But it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects. We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness." And who has the best photoshop skills!