Governor Chris Christie today lauded the members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation, all of whom signed a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expressing opposition to the federal government's demand that New Jersey's taxpayers reimburse $271 million in costs associated with the cancellation of the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) rail project.
"I applaud the bi-partisan support of our entire Congressional delegation and thank them for their commitment to protecting New Jersey taxpayers from the Federal government's unreasonable demand," Governor Christie said. "No matter our differences at times on the ARC project, we can all agree that the federal government's demand represents an unfair burden on New Jersey taxpayers."
The letter, signed by all members of the delegation states: "While some of us may differ on whether or not the ARC project should have been cancelled, we are united in our effort to protect New Jersey taxpayers from harm. We are deeply concerned that forcing New Jersey to pay these funds will undermine efforts for a new Trans-Hudson tunnel, and require the State to postpone or cancel other essential, job-creating transit projects throughout the State. This will only exacerbate the State's transportation and economic challenges, and impose an unfair burden on taxpayers in New Jersey."
On October 27, 2010, Governor Christie cancelled the ARC project because of cost over-runs in excess of $5 billion as well as the extreme financial responsibility that would be shouldered by New Jersey taxpayers.
Last week, Amtrak proposed an alternative to the ARC plan called the "Gateway" tunnel, which could utilize some of the design and data originally developed for ARC.
A copy of the bi-partisan letter from New Jersey's congressional delegation to U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood is attached.