Submitted by Flashinglights0101 t3_10pylnh in newjersey

He took the money earmarked for the project to avoid tax increases so he can run for president.

Edit: If taxpayers told our elected officials not to build anything out of fear of going over budget, we would still have dirt roads and would have to fetch water from the river. Most projects will be over budget, especially when they are complex and extensive. That is just the nature of engineering and construction. But we wasted 30 years of transit-oriented development because of the lack of the new tunnels. Why doesn't New Jersey have more train stations? Well, there is a moratorium on NEW train stations until new tunnels are added into NYC (due to the congestion from the existing train traffic). If we had new tunnels, we can have new stations, more transit-oriented housing, hopefully lower housing cost, etc.



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Big_Dinner3636 t1_j6nbcdq wrote

There's absolutely no chance that a public works project between NY and NJ would be even close to on time or under budget. Absolutely no way.


Special_FX_B t1_j6nh1jk wrote

Owing to the den of nepotism and corruption known as the Port Authority.


vague_diss t1_j6ntzbf wrote

Some appointed officials perhaps. The people who do the nuts and bolts of the work do a thankless, vital job with an insane amount of scrutiny and review. Its not a perfect organization but NJ and NY would be devastated if they weren’t there.


Special_FX_B t1_j6nuzn7 wrote

Yes and it’s still a den of corruption and nepotism. No one gets a job there without connections. I’m not saying much of the private sector isn’t that way, too, but it’s true.


Ok_Raisin_8796 t1_j6no9t3 wrote

Fuck the port authority, all my homies hate the port authority


jayc428 t1_j6o6cl7 wrote

Even going construction projects for them is a fucking nightmare.


jEsTsBaCk t1_j6nzm5s wrote

They can’t even finish a fucking off-ramp in under a decade


Lyraxiana t1_j6o2e3b wrote

At least it would have been started. That's at minimum two years of people having worked on it, gone.


STMIHA t1_j6o5dhc wrote

Right. And we would have been on the hook for all the overruns. I’m not a big Christie fan but that original project needed to be revamped no matter what.


BFrankNJ t1_j6oxh8m wrote

indeed, it needed to be revamped. Not cancelled.


PracticableSolution t1_j6mtxxc wrote

Part of the reason it was canceled was because it wasn’t going to cost half as much. It was a notoriously underbaked design.


Moshua_Jorris t1_j6mvfxf wrote

And NJ / NY would have been responsible for all of the excess costs.


LikeFrankieSaid t1_j6mwfe7 wrote

I think the reason Christie cancelled it was because NJ was wholly responsible for all the excess costs. I'm not a Christie fan, but to me it was a no-brainer to cancel that project.


Flashinglights0101 OP t1_j6mxal8 wrote

Dude that is not even the whole picture. New Jersey may have been on the hook for the additional cost but that is because of the infrastructure improvements that were required in New Jersey. Also, by canceling the project, NJ had to pay back the federal government about $600 million for work already completed by the Feds. The deal may not have been the best at the time but it is a whole lot better than today.


metsurf t1_j6mzfas wrote

No todays deal is better and fully addresses the issues.


SyndicalistCPA t1_j6nng9r wrote

This project would have been done already, if not soon enough. Now we'll have to wait years for this.

So much better.


Rude-Bison-2050 t1_j6n6nur wrote


by holding out there are now fed funds in play


Sonicfan42069666 t1_j6o41sp wrote

Oh cool, "holding out" only took what, 12 years? An entire fucking generation entirely fucked by Christie's mismanagement. He didn't play ball, he popped the ball and went home.


STMIHA t1_j6o5mol wrote

It’s beyond that. Why should one project depend on one person to move along. Our whole state is inept. The fact that we don’t have regional transportation decisions makers is a joke.


ghombie t1_j6pj4lv wrote

What state uses regional transportation makers and to what benefit? It sounds like a dilution of leadership power of the governor based on...??


Flashinglights0101 OP t1_j6mwsyo wrote

For a project of this size, complexity and scope, it is always going to be underbaked. This project is going to go over budget, full stop. Even if we spent another decade planning, it will still go over budget. But I would rather have a project go over budget with pre-Covid construction costs than have to pay what current costs are. We should be thankful there was not another disaster that could have closed the tunnels.


Sagacious_Sapien t1_j6nal0j wrote

Most projects are designed with a 10% to 20% contingency; not 200%. The original was ABSOLUTELY half-baked and it should have been canceled since NJ would have been left holding the bag.

Now that the feds are ponying up more, it is not a win in Phil Murphy's column. Had the Federal government stepped up before, you're right, it would have been done by now.

An even better plan would be to invest in a fully integrated mass transit system instead of relying on highways that only have a lifespan of 20 years.


PracticableSolution t1_j6mygq6 wrote

You take that argument to the NJ and NY statehouses and the taxpayers. Let me know how it works out for you. I’ll wait here


Flashinglights0101 OP t1_j6n2u52 wrote

NJ & NY agreed to the deal, Christie torpedoed it. Port Authority, Amtrak, Fed government, New Jersey and New York all agreed. Christie came in last minute and walked away. Later on we find out it is because he needed to use the funds to prevent the gas tax.


PracticableSolution t1_j6n5k85 wrote

He used the funds a few different places including dumping insane cash into the Pulaski Skyway, the wisdom of which, could be a separate and equally galling discussion


wynnejs t1_j6n5faf wrote

Which ended up being raised anyway


Stunning_Blueberry_3 t1_j6o1uq5 wrote

Each time my husband made his daily commute to the city and back, whenever it stormed, I was worried about that damn tunnel.


AlanMercer t1_j6n5vlj wrote

Christie didn't replace the Corzine project with any tunnel development at all. Whatever you think about Corzine's plan, Christie's subsequent action was short-sighted because whatever the budget is, it only goes up as we move forward in time.

Christie in fact strangled the NJT operating budget to the point at which it could no longer run a full schedule of trains. They didn't have enough crew and functioning rolling stock.

The tunnels have to be replaced for the state's economy to continue to prosper. The only thing more expensive than getting it done now is trying to replace it on an emergency basis after something really goes wrong.


PracticableSolution t1_j6n7rc3 wrote

Completely agree that he single-handedly destroyed NJ Transit. It will take another decade or two before it gets back to where it should be, never mind the havoc at the Turnpike Authority and Port Authority. The man was a destroyer of worlds.

But, he had a solid point on the entire ARC program.


metsurf t1_j6mz9rp wrote

Under-designed and not funded fully at the federal level. State would have been on the hook for a lot of it. It was going to terminate in the vicinity of the PATH 33rd St station with no definitive plan or funding for the terminus.


Chose_a_usersname t1_j6o1bp0 wrote

The old it's not perfect so let's do nothing routine


metsurf t1_j6ph7do wrote

No the it is a fucking disaster so do it right routine.


Flashinglights0101 OP t1_j6n4ref wrote

Feds were funding $3 billion with a commitment for more. That was about half of the expected cost at the time. Today, Feds are funding double because the overall cost is double which is still half of the total cost. We are basically in the same place, just a decade later.


metsurf t1_j6n6fp4 wrote

with a better design and more things included though.


thebruns t1_j6p2ixv wrote

> going to terminate in the vicinity of the PATH 33rd St station

You know thats better than what the current proposal is, which is terminating at 28th and 8th right?


metsurf t1_j6pgt8o wrote

Sorry but you are wrong 28th and 8th is directly adjacent to Penn Station.


OttoBaker t1_j6n70d7 wrote

He repeated that ad nauseam, people still parrot that phrase.


thetechmama t1_j6oi09v wrote

I'll never forget this. I was so annoyed when he cancelled the project but still had the budget to take a helicopter all around the state for personal events and shut down LBI so he could chill there with his family. Can't stand selfish politicians.


thebruns t1_j6p24m9 wrote

Fun fact: Construction had already started. They literally had to fill some of the hole back in with dirt


hfhifi t1_j6pb7fk wrote

I hated Christie for that. He lied about fear of overruns because The Big Dig in Boston was going on at the same time and had 200% cost overruns. Christie knew that. The Feds covered nearly all of it. I lived there from start to finish and the improvements it made in traffic and pollution was beyond imagination.

The one giant pain for commuters was that tolls went up on the Mass Pike(and still are)because the state was on the hook for a chunk of the overruns.

And somehow they are still a tiny fraction of Jersey. $7.50 to go the entire length of the Mass Pike. And in so so much better condition than the NJ Turnpike.

Still, Christie was witness to the Feds paying for most of the insane overruns on the project. Diverting that money was a total scam.


OttoBaker t1_j6n6mji wrote

Thousands of people lost their jobs over his cancellation. Engineers, surveyors, geotechs. He didn’t campaign on this either. He did it to preserve his status for a future presidential run. The project would have created 10k permanent jobs and fully funded the state pension system. A lot of ground work had already been done. He also ran on the promise of same sex marriage, which is why a lot of people voted for him that would typically not vote republican. He immediately flip flopped on that promise. He defunded NJ transit hurting mostly the elderly, and disabled. He lost rare federal dollars on both infrastructure and education. He had very few accomplishments that have been overshadowed by his failures.


KamikaziSolly t1_j6mvnxp wrote

Did Christie have any tangible chance at a presidential run? He seemed to get smacked out of the race pretty early IIRC.


Flashinglights0101 OP t1_j6mxjbv wrote

He had a really good chance if it wasn't for Trump. Christie was the loud candidate that would have outshined the other candidates (like Jeb Bush). Also, coming from a dark blue state, he would have done well if not for Trump ruining his political career.


heynow941 t1_j6n4by9 wrote

Christie was pushed to run in 2012 but held back. In hindsight that was a mistake. By 2016 Trump was running in the “angry populist” lane, leaving Christie with nowhere to go.


LarryLeadFootsHead t1_j6ns9c4 wrote

Absolutely, didn't help how Christie had that win on the record of putting the Kushner dad away either .


squeege222 t1_j6mwrge wrote

Possibly? One of the big problems with his campaign was how he was advised to holp back and have more decorum. Something Christie was not known for. Had he been his true self he probably would have polled better. Of course you have the lightning in a bottle that was 2016 Trump for the GOP base interfering with any chance of him winning but it could have been him up there instead of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio had he not been so chucked by his advisors.


cheap_mom t1_j6n0sk3 wrote

I think he was really running for VP. He would have been there to make whatever non-Trump chucklefuck look sort of normal to moderates in swing states.


EngineSpecialist259 t1_j6mwuwl wrote

If Trump hadn’t run, I think the ticket would’ve been Christie/Rubio, and they probably would’ve beaten HRC too.


nesbett t1_j6mvywa wrote

At the time it was clear that the actual cost would be way higher than the estimated price. Name one large project like this that comes in on budget and on time. And at the time New Jersey's finances were a mess, yes, mostly due to Republican mismanagement, but in this case moving the initial monies to other state needs and punting on the tunnel project was shrewd.


weaselpoopcoffee1 t1_j6n5dge wrote

Exactly. There were projections that it would be triple and possibly quadruple what the initial estimates were.


SyndicalistCPA t1_j6nnxa9 wrote

What were the other state needs?


nesbett t1_j6oe3t7 wrote

There were a lot of other state needs. Pension funding, pre-existing highway and other transportation costs (e.g. NJ Transit), you name it, there was a budget area that was short funded, and some at risk of legal consequence. The state's credit rating is another factor. Taking on the gateway project debt, at that time, could have been been really bad for our credit rating, and consequentially increased the state's borrowing costs. We just weren't in a financially appropriate place for that kind of project at that time.

Under Murphy, we're in a much better fiscal position, and federal support for Gateway with Biden's infrastructure plan is better now than it was back then.

I know everyone wants to crap on Christie, and I'm no supporter, but this is one topic I think he made the right moves on.


Hope this helps answer your question. Cheers.


Sagacious_Sapien t1_j6p6ln8 wrote

>Under Murphy, we're in a much better fiscal position, and federal support for Gateway with Biden's infrastructure plan is better now than it was back then.

I'm not sure I can agree with "a much better fiscal position" comment. Murphy borrowed BILLIONS ($10 billion) to fund the State's pension obligations, and to improve cash position, which almost every governor has done. Frankly, if it wasn't for the COVID funds and other federal funds that were handed out in the last couple of years, we would be in really bad shape.


mszanka t1_j6mshlz wrote

Republican policies are typically myopic.


lost_in_life_34 t1_j6n5xtq wrote

classic NY and NYC they wanted something built, someone else to pay for it and get the financial benefits themselves. just like East Side Access. 3 times the original estimates which were a lie and now they are trying to get congestion pricing to pay the bonds for that


STMIHA t1_j6o5wmf wrote

The gateway project is light years ahead of reheat the arc would have done especially when it comes to capacity. The only thing that would have made this whole situation better is if both tunnels got built.


Race_Strange t1_j6p8idv wrote

As much as I don't like Chris Christie for Cancelling the project. We kinda got a better project out of it. Everything from Newark to New York is going to be upgraded. Something to keep in mind. At the current moment, only 26 trains can navigate the tunnel and hour after the tunnels are complete. They'll be able to triple that number. Some estimates put it at 45-60 trains and hour.


AnonRon6 t1_j6mt7f0 wrote

So sorry can someone please tell me what the hudson tunnels are


p4177y t1_j6muk9d wrote

Rail tunnels going under the Hudson River to Penn Station. Currently there are only two tracks under the river. Plan is to have two more tracks to run more trains.


RentBoy-Kef t1_j6muk6a wrote

I could be completely wrong here, but holland & Lincoln tunnels?


Stevie_J68 t1_j6nswr6 wrote

Can’t stand that Fat Guy


_TommySalami t1_j6n4xpx wrote

Christie is garbage and I still laugh that I've sold more books than he has, even though I never got to be on the Colbert Report.


MrRob_NJ t1_j6n6ste wrote

And this dipshit wants to be president now. Good luck with that.


Special_FX_B t1_j6ngip0 wrote

Ah, yes, the worst governor in my lifetime. Well, except maybe Corrine who was inept.


mathfacts t1_j6oqdy8 wrote

Not a Christie fan. Dude was majorly stingy iirc


pigsanddogs t1_j6pgzt0 wrote

Whats the over/under on the completion date and final cost? Its already projected to cost $16 Billion. At the current inflation rate, you can probably add a billion or two to that estimate each year. No way this gets completed for under $20 Billion. It won't be completed until 2038. Add a few more years to that because and I wouldn't think it'll get down until 2045ish.

So Biden does a photo op while pledging $292 million grant. Wow, That money will be enough to go toward studies, some initial engineering plans, and pay for the State of New Jersey's "Department of Building Stuff" to shuffle papers for a few years, make some public presentations on how this project will be transformative to the lives of least fortunate among us. But until someone shows up with $20 billion in a bag, nothing else will happen.

Just wait... Come back to this post in 30 years and I bet I'm right.


Chose_a_usersname t1_j6o1k2w wrote

I'm pissed that Christie ruined having F1 races from NY to NJ through the tunnel. NJ could have made so much stupid money


BiggyShake t1_j6o2eiw wrote

It wouldn't have been finished by now, but it was certainly necessary, at almost any dollar cost.


thebruns t1_j6p2zbc wrote

It was to open in 2019 originally, opening in 2023 was a reasonable expectation


popshockey t1_j6ol1tt wrote

It would’ve been funded majorly by NJ residents with a giant tax burden. Now it’s a federal project which makes sense since it serves multiple states. It was good for NJ Christie canceled arc. The other cuts he did to rail where the problem


kindofdivorced t1_j6orwtj wrote

He used the money to rebuild the Pulaski Skyway, actually. Total waste.


herslave2 t1_j6p03w8 wrote

Just another waste of our money. Look at the NJTPK tearing down all the service areas. Really its just a ploy to spend money because if they don't then they can't keep raising the tolls! There was nothing wrong with the service areas. And they could put 4 more Tunnels up the problem is on the NYC side because of the Traffic going into the City it dumps you right into all traffic lights.


Otisnj3 t1_j6phh0r wrote

In your dreams.


joedonut t1_j6mt37y wrote

And would have left the riders in Macys. I'm far from a Christie fan but for all the wrong reasons he was right in this.


Pherllerp t1_j6mtpmv wrote

A train from Jersey to Herald Square doesn’t sound so bad. I almost prefer that to adding more people to the mess of Penn Station.


TenBillionDollHairs t1_j6n0tto wrote

I'm sorry but Macy's is a block from Penn Station and connects to Herald Square with a bunch of subways and the PATH. I don't see the problem here.


stephenclarkg t1_j6n59fs wrote

Lmao you are a fan of poorly researching issues at the very least


BeamerTakesManhattan t1_j6o93ex wrote

You're from Central Jersey. How often do you go into NYC?

Herald Square is a huge subway station. And about a block to Penn Station.


thebruns t1_j6p2t9i wrote

You think the current plan of 28th and 8th is better? Have you ever been to NYC?


Trainlover1279 t1_j6nungy wrote

It was going to a basement station tgat didn't alleviate any if the current issues that plague the current tunnels.


thebruns t1_j6p2wtz wrote

And how do you think the current plan does?


Trainlover1279 t1_j6p4pil wrote

  1. The new tunnels connect with Penn Station.
  2. Amtrak & nj transit can use them not just nj transit like with the old plan that was canceled.
  3. Old plan was dead end terminal not a through station where amtrak/nj transit can continue east through queens or further.
  4. If gateway was built and something happened to existing tunnels, the new tunnels wouldn't help out with getting trains from outside of NYC/points east to anything south/west on amtrak.

stickman07738 t1_j6n8yrl wrote

LOL, blaming Christie - get real - no project in NY/NJ metro area runs on or near budget. As soon as they start digging, environmental will crop up and then union issues will occur. This one will also probably double by its end.


BeamerTakesManhattan t1_j6o8v7z wrote

None of that changes OP's post. We'd have had it in progress, at a minimum, but Christie canceled it.

Sorry we offended you and your beach-loving governor.


jimlaregina t1_j6nrkqp wrote

Let's see what Biden actually accomplishes (he breaks promises more than a French waiter breaks dishes) but I appreciate the spirit of your comment.


Chose_a_usersname t1_j6o27qj wrote

He is doing better than the alternative would have been


jimlaregina t1_j6omcly wrote

It sounds like you're dating the second-dumbest Kardashian sister.


Chose_a_usersname t1_j6ort9u wrote

Is that what it sounds like? Or you have zero policy to point to that would actually make things better for the lower and middle class that the orange man ran on (which is no policy). So your only defense is to personally lash out at someone rather than having a defensible position. Face it bud your party is all about "feelings" nothing about good government