Economy

As rail woes persist, Christie mum on tunnel project he axed

As rail woes persist, Christie mum on tunnel project he axed

Recent train disruptions in NY that caused cascading delays between Boston and Washington, D.C., have refocused attention on a multibillion-dollar tunnel project that could have ameliorated future problems if it hadn't been canceled by Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2010.

In recent weeks, the region's fragile rail infrastructure was tested three times, with two Amtrak derailments at Penn Station in NY and a powerless New Jersey Transit train stranded in the tunnel with 1,200 passengers aboard for three hours. At a news conference Wednesday, Christie, Senator Cory Booker and other state lawmakers discussed the importance of committing to upgrading transportation infrastructure of the busy Northeast Corridor. He has yet to specify which projects would be funded, though, and the budget blueprint he released last month eliminates the federal funding source that New York and New Jersey were counting on to cover half of the $23 billion in New York City-area rail improvements, including the Gateway tunnel.

He says a new tunnel project he supports is far superior and the previous project "stunk" because the cost wasn't shared by New York state or New York City and trains wouldn't have terminated in Penn Station.

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Christie and Booker said they've invited U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to tour the region's rails.

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But after beating Corzine in November 2009, Christie about a year later chose to halt construction that had already started and cancel the project. "And all of us should be calling on the federal administration to follow through". Booker said during the event at Newark Penn Station.

But as the politicians spoke, protesters organized by the New Jersey Working Families Alliance stood behind them, holding up signs that directly targeted Christie.

Booker declined today to answer reporters' questions about the wisdom of that cancellation, given the recent breakdowns, saying, "That's done".

The Republican governor attended the groundbreaking of the $220 million complex that will house a satellite campus of Stockton University and the corporate headquarters of South Jersey Gas.

"But I want to make clear to everybody: I kept stepping up when the questions were directed to me and he kept - he wouldn't get away from the podium", Christie said.

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It would have added a second tunnel to augment the current, 110-year-old tunnel. Christie is term-limited and leaves office in January. "I want to talk about where we are right now", Booker said.

Booker also appeared with Christie at an event in Newark in 2013, just as the governor was seeking re-election and Booker was running to fill the Senate vacancy that was created by Lautenberg's death earlier that year.

"This is my news conference", Sen.

Authorities are trying to determine whether "one or more people" might have helped the attacker, Brandet said.

"We think that this is more hypocrisy", Mejia said after the news conference ended.

Trump condemns Paris terrorist attack
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen tweeted, "My emotions and solidarity for the police, once again targeted". Candidates went ahead with a debate Thursday night. "First of all, our condolences from our country to the people of France".


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