Here is the timeline describing ARC project funding and deliberation milestones since Governor Christie took office, particularly how the Governor was forced to re-examine the project in mid-August when the Federal Transit Administration presented its first thorough examination of the potential cost overruns for the project. As we now know, the range given then – $10.878 billion to $13.736 billion, not including the $775 million for a new Portal Bridge – far exceeded the working assumption of an ARC tunnel project at $8.7 billion plus the cost of the Portal Bridge.
Also, an important reminder given what is still appearing in some press reports: None of the proposals put forth by federal officials or New Jersey’s congressional delegation – despite unsupported statements to the contrary – eliminate, or even remotely limit, New Jersey’s exposure to the potentially billions in cost overruns. Loans or any phase in of the project merely delay the costs to New Jersey and its taxpayers. I repeat – none of the alternatives offered change the fact that New Jersey would be solely on the hook for all ARC tunnel overruns.
Finally, please take a look at this Bond Buyer story today, which describes extra funding to Florida and California for additional billions for large rail projects which already had received billions in federal funding. As the Governor noted in today’s availability, these additional funding commitments from the federal government come even as those states have only a fraction of the state funding commitment for their projects, as compared to the 70 percent New Jersey (including Port Authority) responsibility in the ARC project.
Press Secretary to NJ Governor Chris Christie