Updated by Jason: Unless things changed in the last week, the Star Ledger Article is off base and the project is funded. From a separate article in the Asbury Park Press following the press conference announcing:
The director of the Federal Transit Administration said the federal government will fully fund the remaining $3 billion of the new Hudson River rail tunnel.
Peter Rogoff, director of the FTA, made the announcement at the ceremonial groundbreaking here for the $8.7 billion tunnel today. He said it is the largest federal transportation funding commitment in history.
And then in the Hudson Reporter:
The announcement of more federal funding last week now means that the project is currently fully funded.
“I’ve been familiar with this project and worked on it years ago when Frank Lautenberg was my sub-committee chairman, but back then we never really felt that we would get here because we never really thought that the states and localities would be able to put up a sizable enough match to make a project like this a reality,” said Rogoff.
Rogoff continued, “Governor Corzine has proved us wrong, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he did. When you’ve got a tunnel that’s already at capacity and transit ridership alone expected to grow perhaps double in the next 20 years, we don’t have the choice in not doing this project. So that fact that the leadership came together and that the money came together to make it a reality is a thrill for me, especially on the 10th day of the job.”
So I’m not sure what the Star Ledger article author is talking about, because that would be a drastic change in the span of a week.
On June 8th the Governor, along with state and federal officials, broke ground on a new Mass Transit Tunnel under the Hudson River. From the Governor’s weekly statehouse email:
Currently, 10 NJ Transit rail lines use one tunnel to enter Manhattan. The groundbreaking ceremony in North Bergen kicks off the construction of a second way in and out of New York City. Once completed, the new tunnel will double commuter rail capacity on New Jersey Transit from 23 trains to 48 during peak rush hours, increase the number of direct rail lines into New York City from North Jersey and create 44,000 permanent jobs as a result of increased economic mobility in the region.
“It will create thousands of jobs for hardworking families across the region, promote better mobility and provide enormous environmental benefits,” said the Governor, after handing the shovel he used to break ground to one of the tunnel construction workers standing nearby.
The project has long been championed by the Governor and Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. Financed with funds from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and federal stimulus dollars made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Barack Obama, the $8.7 billion project is expected to be finished in 2017.
It all sounds great so far. But follow me below the fold to see video of what went right from the groundbreaking, a story of what went wrong and how this project could put us on the hook for a large bill.