From Michael Drewniak, press secretary to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:
Secretary LaHood confirmed yesterday what we knew two weeks ago – the ARC Tunnel project is over budget and puts New Jersey taxpayers at risk of being saddled with billions of dollars in added costs.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the newly estimated cost of the ARC project ranges from $9.775 billion to $12.708 billion. In August, federal transportation officials provided New Jersey Transit with cost estimates for the project ranging from $10.88 billion to $13.7 billion. Both the August and the currently revised ranges of estimated costs do not include the $775 million New Jersey expense of building a new bridge needed for the sole purpose of creating a new connection from the Northeast Corridor line to the ARC tunnel.
Therefore, based on yesterday's confirmation from Secretary LaHood, the total project cost ranges from $10.55 billion to $13.475 billion (based on the August federal data, total project cost ranged from $11.665 billion to $14.475 billion).
The hurdle remains unchanged. Governor Christie continues to recognize the need and advantages of expanding rail capacity between New Jersey and New York. But as Governor Christie has repeatedly stated, he is not willing to saddle New Jersey taxpayers with a public works project with such a large, indeterminate cost overrun projection with no way to fund it. Critics who seem to be using the moment for political advantage need to answer the question that remains today and was brought into focus by Secretary LaHood: how would they pay for potentially billions of dollars in cost overruns?