I’m glad people love his tough talk on saving money, because as a governor Christie makes cuts without examining the full extent of their damage.
The FTA had already agreed to spend $350 million on the project. In Monday’s letter, the agency said it was “immediately deobligating” about $79 million remaining from that amount.
At least one state, New York, is already making a bid for the federal cash that was scheduled for the tunnel project. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has asked that the $3 billion in federal funds designated for the tunnel be redirected to the Long Island Rail Road’s East Side Access Project and the construction of the Second Avenue subway line.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, a longtime advocate of the ARC Tunnel project, said Christie’s decision means the state’s taxpayers are now left with a bill for a “tunnel to nowhere.”
“The governor famously throughout this has said he is not going to spend money the state doesn’t have. I wonder where he is going to get this money,” Wisniewiski said.
Citing the $400 million in “Race to the Top” education dollars the state lost as the result of an application error, Wisniewski said this is the second time the governor has cost the state federal dollars.
“We’re approaching $700 million” in money lost, Wisniewiski said.