“Christie wise to say whoa to rail tunnel, terminal” says Record columnist

Bob Ingle, writing in the Daily Record, Sunday, Sept. 26, says Governor Christie’s decision to put the trans-Hudson ARC rail tunnel on hold is a wise move.  Ingle calls the plan “the rail line from Monstrosity by the Turnpike” (his term for the failed Xanadu complex) to Macy’s basement.  It would be the “third Hudson tunnel”, after the “one we now use and a second Amtrak is planning”.  At 180′ deep, the new terminal “is so deep that one escalator can’t handle it . . . how’d you like to be caught down there in an emergency?”  Ingle goes on to lambaste Assembly Transportation, Public Works, and Independent Authority Committee Chairman John Wisniewski, who “went on blabbering about how awful it was that Gov. Christie called the 30-day halt . . .cost overruns could reach an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion . . . Who thinks it will be limited to just $5 billion?”

Ingle quotes NJ Association of Railroad Passengers’ Phillip Craig that the ARC project is “a compromised mediocre project that will not meet” the region’s train needs, and “is not affordable given the state’s . . . financial condition”.  Ingle says Craig went on to state that the claim that reexamining the ARC project might jeopardize Federal funding is “no more than a transparent scare tactic designed to protect the status quo”.  Craig recommends the project be “right-sized”, terminating the new line in Penn Station and reducing costs while preserving New Jersey jobs.  Ingle concludes that there are five transportation projects on the New York side, and ARC is “the only one that doesn’t tie in with the other four . . . Christie should bring together representatives of all five projects” to get the best deal for taxpayers’ money.  Ingle says the savings should allow us to “replenish the Transportation Trust Fund without a tax hike”.