Christie defends killing tunnel project he says 'stunk'


Christie defends killing tunnel project he says 'stunk'

Sen. Cory Booker led a news conference to highlight New Jersey leaders' efforts to get the federal government to invest more heavily in rail projects in the New York City metro area.

It would have added a second tunnel to augment the current, 110-year-old tunnel.

Beyond his fiscal stewardship of NJ Transit, Christie is often blamed for single-handedly canceling an $8.7 billion tunnel project known as the Access to the Region's Core that would have linked NY and New Jersey and added extra capacity for the region's growing commuter base. Now, he's essentially endorsing the very thing he'd been so prominently against. He was one of several elected officials on hand today for a somewhat truncated press conference led by, and limited to questions directed to, Sen.

Protestors gathered outside the meeting at Newark Penn Station to blame the governor for the recent rail issues. Booker, then serving as Newark's mayor, was one of the earliest supporters of Christie's push to establish a new cap on local property tax hikes. The governor kept his remarks uncharacteristically brief.

"The president is well aware of my point of view on this project and I absolutely will continue to speak my mind on this, both publicly and privately", Christie said moments before Booker ended the news conference.

Whether Christie feels any pangs of remorse over the decision was left unanswered Wednesday at a news conference to urge President Donald Trump's administration to honor a pre-existing commitment to fund a new tunnel project.

"We're teetering every single day on the brink of truly a traffic Armageddon", Booker said.

After a series of commuting nightmares in the NY region, Gov. Christie and Sen.

"I'm exhausted of politics", he continued, adding that "people are hurting" because of frequent signal problems, derailments and other delays. "And I hate that I have to revisit that all the time".

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

"He is now trying to rebuild his legacy after millions and millions of dollars that he's given away, that he's wasted away", said Analilia Majia, executive director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance. "All these commuters, we have so much stress".

The senator and the governor beat a hasty retreat after only three questions, although Christie told us that the budget for NJ Transit has gone up more than 50 percent over his tenure.

As for the senator whose efforts Butler and other commuters endorse, he said the focus needs to be on those efforts, rather than on past cancellations of similar attempts to improve the region's rail transportation. Speaking Friday on RTL radio, Macron said: "What our attackers want is death, symbolism, to sow panic (and) to disturb a democratic process, which is the presidential election".

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