“Times” Letter Explains Need to Delay ARC

James P. RePass, chairman of The National Corridors Initiative, in a letter published in The New York Times on October 15, explained some reasons why the ARC trans-Hudson tunnel needs to be postponed, pending redesign.  In response to a Times Op-Ed column on Oct. 8 by Paul Krugman, which decried NJ Gov. Christie’s decision to kill the tunnel (since under reconsideration), DePass said that Krugman had not considered “key facts” about the tunnel project.  Writing from Mystic, Conn., DePass wrote first that the cost of the tunnel is considerably more than the original $8.7 billion estimate, “largely because of a parochial decision by New Jersey Transit to abandon the original Penn Station through-running alignment in favor of one that dead-ends in a deep-cavern terminal under 34th Street, usable only by New Jersey Transit.”  He goes on to state that, “Second, the dead-end tunnel cuts out all of New England and Eastern Canada from essential rail capacity growth; the less expensive Penn Station alignment allows for it, and also allows a future connection to Grand Central Terminal that would take hundreds of thousands of subway riders off overcrowded lines in Midtown.”  The letter concludes that Gov. Christie was right to kill “this vastly over-budget, dead-end tunnel”.  Tunnels are needed, but “we must do it right, so that both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak can use them, and so all of New England and Eastern Canada can benefit, not just New Jersey”.