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Old Posted Oct 9, 2010, 3:47 AM
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Quote:
Christie spokesman denies Hudson River rail tunnel plans have been killed

"The governor spoke to CNN in Illinois and said categorically there has been no decision,'' said spokesman Kevin Roberts.

A group representing New Jersey rail riders called on the Christie administration to put the project on a longer "time out'' beyond the 30-day hiatus imposed last month and look at "right sizing'' the project by having it go to Penn Station and the proposed Moynihan Station to be converted from the Farley Post Office, instead of scuttling the project.

"There is a third way which would permit the construction of the megaproject to move forward while reducing overall outlays to stay within tight budgetary constraints,'' said Al Papp, director of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers. "‚'Moynihan/Penn Station First' will be a win, win, win situation -- for the governor, for the project's proponents and -- most importantly -- for the riding public.''

Papp said that an estimated $3 billion could be saved by eliminating the deep cavern station and the overall depth of the project. Last week, Transportation Commissioner James Simpson said those estimates weren't accurate.

NJ Transit officials have maintained the route to Penn Station was ruled out due to technical and geological issues in addition to existing infrastructure that would be in the way. Rail advocates maintain those issues are solvable and not fatal flaws.

The massive project to build a set of rail tunnels under the Hudson and a separate station 150 feet under 34th street in Manhattan is coming to the end of a 30-day financial review imposed by Christie due to concerns that the project could run over budget.

Federal Transit Administration officials who have been conducting the review with NJ Transit officials have warned the state that it would not pay for any cost overruns beyond the $3 billion that the agency commited to the project as part of a funding grant being negotiated.

State officials are awaiting a financial analysis from the FTA which could forecast cost overruns for the project, which would take until 2018 to complete. So far the state has spent between $500 million and $600 million on the tunnel project, mostly in design and engineering work.

The only construction happening is construction of an overpass to carry Routes 1 and 9 over the mouth of the new tunnel through the Palisades in North Bergen.
http://www.app.com/article/20101006/...ve-been-killed
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