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JerseyDevil
05-15-2006, 08:22 PM
Or should it be worded, "does NY need another rail tunnel?" My view is that the rail tunnel has very little to do with NJ, and mostly deals with moving people and money out of New Jersey and into NY.

This thread came about because of an editorial in the Star Ledger today and has been something that I have been wanting to post about for a while. As the Star Ledger says, this has been in talks for years, but only now does NJ have a governor who is strongly in favor of it.



A new tunnel is a necessity
The benefits of a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River have been obvious for years. But the project has had only so-so support from the governor’s office in Trenton. No more.

Gov. Jon Corzine has not only committed to a new rail tunnel, but he’s vowing to break ground on the massive, $6 billion job in 2009. That’s an ambitious plan and a critical one for both commuters and the economy of the region.

The existing, century-old train tunnel connecting New Jersey with New York’s Penn Station is a growing bottleneck. The tunnel can now accommodate 23 or so trains per hour, enough to carry the 45,000-plus passengers who ride through during weekday peak commuting hours.

But the number of rush-hour commuters is expected to double in 15 to 25 years as population continues to grow west of the Hudson, and Manhattan remains the primary regional hub for finance and other high-paying jobs.

The jobs and population will go elsewhere if workers can’t get in and out of the city, bleeding the economy in both New York and New Jersey. Trains are the only practical way to move so many people back and forth, and a new tunnel is the only way to significantly increase the number of trains.

Corzine made his money on Wall Street and he understands the economic stakes. He knows commuting, too. The daily shuttle between Summit and New York before he entered politics saw to that. And key New York politicians, including Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, generally support a new rail tunnel.

The biggest challenge will be cobbling together the money for the project. Gone are the days when the federal government provided 90 percent of the financing for important transportation jobs.

A 50 percent federal share is more realistic now, leaving $3 billion to be covered by the states. A major portion of that should come from the Port Authority. The authority has the financial resources, and large, regionally beneficial transportation projects are its reason for being.

Preliminary environmental studies for a new tunnel were launched some time ago and should be completed by midsummer. If construction begins in 2009, the tunnel could be open for trains in 2015 or 2016.

None of this is new. In fact, the need for a second tunnel under the Hudson was predicted almost 50 years ago. But New Jersey and New York always had too many more immediate transportation needs. Now the need for a new tunnel can no longer be ignored.

A second rail tunnel is a project on a scale with the George Washington Bridge or the Lincoln or Holland tunnels, and it is just as crucial to the future quality of New Jersey life and to the economic health of the region.

I have e-mailed a letter to the Star Ledger in response and hoping they will print it.


I read the editorial "A Second Tunnel is a Necessity" in your May 15th edition. In all actuality, a tunnel would NOT be necessary if our government encouraged businesses to move back to OUR cities and into New Jersey. Everyone complains about the state budget deficit, but do you know that by being more and more of a "commuter state" we are losing all that money to New York. Our politicians and citizens need to start worrying about spending money in New Jersey, where it contributes to OUR economy.

When people work in New York, New York gets the business taxes, we do not. When those employees go out for lunch, New York restaurants get the business, not New Jersey. When an employee stops by a store during their lunch hour, that money goes into the New York economy, not New Jersey's.

New Jersey needs to start developing it's own economy, instead of always sending our money over the river and contributing to the coffers of New York. Whenever a New Jerseyan spends money outside the state, that money leaves the New Jersey economy and must be made up by a visitor bringing it back to New Jersey. New Jersey is losing out in this one sided relationship with New York, and our politicians do nothing about it. Enough is enough already. I ask - who do our politicians represent - New York or New Jersey? It's about time New Jersey came first!

Robert Rosetta

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 07:15 AM
The entire Hudson-Bergen Light Rail project, all three lines of it, cost just over $2 billion. This one tunnel to New York costs $6 billion. Imagine if you instead took some of that money (maybe $750 million or so if you wanted to make a good chunk of the Ironbound portion underground subway) to extend the Hudson-Bergen line into Newark and connected it down Ferry Street to the Newark Subway at Penn Station. Imagine if you took a little more of it (lets say $3 billion) and built additional subway lines in Newark lets say along Springfield Avenue and South Orange Avenue. Lets say you took the rest of the money ($2.25 billion) and extended the Newark-Elizabeth Light Rail thats being built into downtown Elizabeth from there into the Union County suburbs. The third part of the Newark-Elizabeth Light Rail that goes from Elizabeth into the Union County suburbs is at an estimated $410 million and is unfunded. You could build that as well as three other lines into midtown Elizabeth from its surrounding suburbs with the money I just took from that tunnel. I'm just throwing around numbers here, but the point is that $6 billion is a huge chunk of New Jersey's change to be spending on something that doesn't benefit our infrastructure.

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 07:28 AM
Or even the West Trenton to Newark line that'd cost under $200 million and is currently "unfunded." http://www.njtransit.com/an_cp_project016.shtml

MITHRANDIR
05-16-2006, 12:02 PM
Or should it be worded, "does NY need another rail tunnel?" My view is that the rail tunnel has very little to do with NJ, and mostly deals with moving people and money out of New Jersey and into NY.

This thread came about because of an editorial in the Star Ledger today and has been something that I have been wanting to post about for a while. As the Star Ledger says, this has been in talks for years, but only now does NJ have a governor who is strongly in favor of it.


I have e-mailed a letter to the Star Ledger in response and hoping they will print it.

IMO, You have a well worded response for being against a new tunnel. (from a New Jersey point of view.)

I am not completely sure if it benefits NY more than it benefits NJ by the wide margin that you portray, but I do think you bring up things to consider. I do not think that there is the same volume of commuters leaving NYC as there exist going into NYC.

Would businesses be more inclined to build/reside in NJ if a new tunnel is not built or will they decide to leave the region all together?

If the businesses do have an interest to build/reside in NJ, will there be communities in NJ will to accept them in their communities without any unnecessary hassles? (ie making it more difficult for a business to stay in NJ.)

One position in favor for another tunnel (that is not based on economics) would be for ease of maintenance. If you have two (or more) tunnels connecting NJ to NY you can close one tunnel for needed repairs without drastically affecting service between both sides of the hudson.

NewarkDevil5
05-16-2006, 12:09 PM
If New York City wants better access to New Jersey's workers then New York City can foot the bill for the new tunnel. New Jersey should not spend its tax money on outsourcing jobs.

JerseyDevil
05-19-2006, 07:02 PM
IMO, You have a well worded response for being against a new tunnel. (from a New Jersey point of view.)

I am not completely sure if it benefits NY more than it benefits NJ by the wide margin that you portray, but I do think you bring up things to consider. I do not think that there is the same volume of commuters leaving NYC as there exist going into NYC.

I'll have more to say about, but I wanted to make a quick point. There is a reason why NJ transit only charges peak rates going north bound in the morning and southbound in the evening and believe me, people aren't getting off at Newark.


Would businesses be more inclined to build/reside in NJ if a new tunnel is not built or will they decide to leave the region all together?


Not because the tunnel isn't built, of course not. it takes a business friendly environment and the state to encourage businesses to move here. There has to be a reason for them to move here. There is one thing that people forget when they scream - tax the rich, tax the businesses - which basically means they wish to tax these entities more than the average person - and that is that they can move anywhere they wish. Once they move, you have lost any tax money they would have been generating. In the case of businesses, you have lost jobs. Without a tunnel, basically companies would merely choose another location of the US to locate if they are unable to get the employees to work. However, we have a lot of space in newark, a lot of space in camden, a lot of space in Trenton, etc. It's time fo rNew Jersey politicians to stop worrying about how to get New Jerseyans into Manhattan to work and start worrying about how to get businesses into our cities so New Jerseyans can work IN New JERSEY.



If the businesses do have an interest to build/reside in NJ, will there be communities in NJ will to accept them in their communities without any unnecessary hassles? (ie making it more difficult for a business to stay in NJ.)

I'm not talking about busineses moving to the surburbs and building their little office park things. I'm talking about new Jersey FINALLY revitalizing it's cities. Finally making Newark a place to be proud of. A place where people wish to go. Newark has a lot going for it, but it is completely under utilized. There is absolutely NO reason why businesses should be building up along the RT 1 corridor, when there are so much potential in our cities. But you do have to make it attractive for them. Years of mismanagement by politicans need to be undone.



One position in favor for another tunnel (that is not based on economics) would be for ease of maintenance. If you have two (or more) tunnels connecting NJ to NY you can close one tunnel for needed repairs without drastically affecting service between both sides of the hudson.
I don't think that's a good enough reason for a second tunnel. That's like building a second house for when you need to redo the bathroom.

JerseyDevil
05-19-2006, 08:26 PM
If New York City wants better access to New Jersey's workers then New York City can foot the bill for the new tunnel. New Jersey should not spend its tax money on outsourcing jobs.
My opinion exactly.

beatman10
05-20-2006, 04:58 PM
in such dire straits, they had to borrow billions just to keep it afloat after July
1st 2006? Now we got all this money to benefit New Yorkers? Maybe that's why so many campaign contributions to our politicans come from NY. Cause they know a NJ politican is nothing more than a prostitute!! Seriously, they can do a lot better with that money developing our rail systems here. Why is if you want to take a train from Newark to Atlantic City you have to cross into Philadelphia first? How about strenghthening rail ties between NJ cities before spending money on NY? Obviously, our politicans have very little vision for New Jersey!!

JerseyDevil
05-20-2006, 06:30 PM
Why is if you want to take a train from Newark to Atlantic City you have to cross into Philadelphia first? How about strenghthening rail ties between NJ cities before spending money on NY? Because NY and Philadelphia have our politicians in their back pocket. It's the same reaosn why we now have three professional sports teams who don't acknowledge NJ as their home, but instead wear NY on their uniforms. Our politicans are for sale to the highest bidder.

NewarkDevil5
05-20-2006, 11:40 PM
GRIP

Get RID of Incumbent Politicians

All that I'm saying is give GRIP a chance!

JerseyDevil
05-21-2006, 12:28 AM
GRIP

Get RID of Incumbent Politicians

All that I'm saying is give GRIP a chance!
I seriously wish New Jerseyans would, but they seem to elect the same people over and over again and then complain afterward. Look at Florio, McGreevey and now Crozine. I wasn't here during Whitman - I do know that she did take on NY on multiple occations though. I seriously have no idea what Corzine did for NJ while in the senate, yet New Jerseyans voted for him.

The question is - will New Jerseyans vote for politicians who honestly care about NJ, or will they vote merely for the person that is able to give them what they want to hear on the campaign trail?

NewarkDevil5
05-21-2006, 07:57 AM
The reason it happens like that is that New Jersey politicians don't have to pander to New Jersey interests because for the most part its the New York and Philadelphia media that people get their information from. If more people listened to 101.5 or read the Ledger then things might be different, but what happens is that the people who pander the best to New York and Philadelphia interests get the best press and media coverage and therefore have the best chance of retaining their seats.

JerseyDevil
05-21-2006, 11:31 PM
Well in today's Star Ledger, the Sunday edition no less, my letter appeared...



Losing out to New York

Contrary to your May 15 editorial ‘‘A new tunnel is a necessity,’’ another Hudson tunnel wouldn’t be needed if state government encouraged businesses to move back to our cities and into New Jersey. Everyone complains about the state deficit, but by being more and more of a commuter state, we lose money to New York. Our politicians and residents must start worrying about spending money in New Jersey, where it contributes to our economy. When people work in New York, New York gets the business taxes. When those employees go out for lunch, New York restaurants get the business. When an employee shops during his lunch hour, that money goes into New York’s economy. New Jersey must develop its own economy instead of sending its money over the river. Whenever a New Jerseyan spends money outside the state, that money leaves New Jersey’s economy and must be made up by a visitor bringing it back here. New Jersey is losing in this one-sided relationship with New York, and our politicians do nothing. It’s about time New Jersey came first.

— Robert Rosetta, Trenton


Although it's edited, it stil kept the feel of what I wrote. I wish they did keep in the line about "who do our politicians represent - New Jersey or New York?", but overall I'm satisfied with the editing.

JerseyDevil
06-24-2006, 11:00 PM
I'm posting this here, even though I did post this on the Anti-Taxc Rally thread.

I talked to Tom Kean Jr at the anti-tac rally today in Seaside Heights and asked him his thoughts on the NY Hudson rail tunnel. He says he supports - I still do NOT. He claims that it will bring people over to NJ - that the tunnel wiorks both ways. I say that is bunch of bull! Our politicians do next to zero to bring business and employees into our cities. We are losing more businesses in NJ than are being created by this anti-business environment the politicians have. He claims that things will be fixed up and corrected within the 12 years it will take to build the tunnell. Again I say that is a bunch of bull! If NY wants to get employees from NJ - then I say they FUND the project, NO NEW JERSEY tax money should be used to support the businesses of NY. Our politicians are making NJ into a NY subrub - and even by Tom Kean''s statement to me - he is also one of them. As of right now - I support neither menedez nor kean. After today, Kean has some SERIOUS proving to do to me!

One comment Kean made that really bothered me was that we would get a lot of support jobs. Why he hell should NJ settle for merely the corporate support jobs? Why can't NJ politicans open their eyes and actually promote NJ as a great destination for the main offices of corporations? OUr politicians REPEATEDLY settle for SECOND best and therefore that is what NJ is treated as! :mad:

beatman10
06-27-2006, 10:37 PM
The politicans cater to those who will give them the most votes, and right now the NY and Philly "wannabes" are the majority. I don't hear any major outrage over the 6 billion dollar tunnel proposal. I would love to see us get our own tv and more radio networks, but I'm sure most people in this state would continue watching the NY/Philly channels. Back in the 80s, the cable company (not Comcast) had 2 NBC affiliates in southern Jersey. Channel 40 in AC and channel 3 in Philly. The company proceeded to remove the Philly channel from its menu and keep ch 40. Logical move for AC, right? Wrong!!
There were massive protests in Atlantic and Cape May counties for removing the Philly channel. The cable company was forced to bring back ch 3 for fear the people would riot outside their office. Go to Wawa or Quick Check and see what newspapers are selling the best. Chances are they are a New York or Philly paper. I know I'm jumping around from subject to subject, but these are all symptoms of the same disease in NJ, APATHY!! I wish I knew how to cure it. I'm always telling people how NY and Pennsylvania try to run our lives and keep us down, how they try to divide us and even we as taxpayers have to pay for all their meddling. How NY and Philly pit one section of the state against another. How they influence hatred of our own cities. And people just look at me like I have 2 heads. How do we unbrainwash over 7 million people??:help:

JerseyDevil
06-27-2006, 11:17 PM
The thing is beatman =- I agree with you 110%. I see the same things. I was on the northn spur of the Turnpike and it's sickening all these people going OUT of state to go to work. That is OUR money basically leaving this state. NJ iis and continues to become more and more of just a bedroom community for Ny and Philadelphia. There is very little self pride in this state. My cousin's own friend calls New Jersey - "Dirty Jersey". I ask him why the hell he calls it then when it's not and he lives here! He sayus - well actually it isn't really dirty, but then why the HELL say it? Oh - yeah - because it's the nickname that Pennsylvanians have for New Jersey - even though they have no problem what so ever of swimming at our beaches.


I thought of this today while I was driving - I would like to see New Jerseyans actually take a stand and boycott New York for just one week (not go see any broadway shows, since New Jerseyans make up 2/3 of the audience, not go into work, since we make up the majority of New York's workforce, not go into New York to see their museums, etc) - and let's see how well their economy does then! Maybe after that show of force they'd actually give us some respect! Personally - I'd also like to rip up the turnpike, or at least barracade it at the NY entrance and charge a $50 fee to use any of the tunnels or bridges. But instead what our politicians do is say - "Oh, NY, you want to build a massive office tower, while our cities are suffering, and you need a tunnel to get the employees from NJ to NY and you want us to pick up the tab? Well that sounds about right, okay. But, while we're giving you all this, can you also bend over so we can kiss you on the ass too?" Nevermind that if we stoped shipping our citizens over to NY and encouraged business growth in our cities - they wouldn't need to commute out of state for their jobs.

This is also off topic, but ticks me off also. CNN.com had an article about the NJ National Guard. Throughout - all locations within NJ are defined by their distance from either Philadelphia or New York. The one even said "40 miles west of NY City". If you look at Money Magazine's top places to live, all of the NJ towns "closest" city - is either NY or Phialdelphia - even when Newark or Jersey City or Camden is closer to the town in question.



At Pennsauken High School, near Philadelphia, guidance counselor Denise Wrzeszczynski ...

Tom Vara, athletic director at Hopatcong High School, about 40 miles west of Manhattan...


You need to ask yourself - does NJ have any identity of it's own, and do we own this identity - or do others dictate it for us?

NJ gets no respect and our politicans deserve no respect from the citizens of NJ. They do nothing for this state but sell us out. BTW - I also went past NJ Giants Stadium today and a huge mural for the Red Bulls is there. It is so nice to Red Bulls New YORK on a piece of New JERSEY property! Again - NJ politicans - sell out to NY!

JerseyDevil
06-27-2006, 11:24 PM
BTW - again a side note - I've thought of this as response to polititicans who say that the tunnel brings workers from NY into NJ also. If that's the case - then why is peak time in the morning only NORTH INTO New York and int eh evening - only SOUTH OUT of NY. If it was equally beneficial, then peak time should be the same regardless of which direction you are traveling in! But then again - politicians generally think the electorate are stupid. Oh yeah - they may be right - look at who just got elected as governor!

JerseyDevil
07-27-2006, 11:09 PM
well let's see - today the Port Authority is authorizing $1 billion to be used for the development of this rail tunnel that will further make NJ into a commuter state. Contrary to our politicians - at least NJN News actually states that it will mostly benefit NY - although they may not have expressed it in those terms. Instead they stated that the tunnel is needed to bring in New Jerseyans to work in NY - especially since it is expected that in the coming years NY's workforce will be expanding by 350,000 workers and it's required in order to bring New Jerseyans in to fulfll these jobs. let me see - I wonder - why aren't our politicians working at expanding job opportunities in NJ? Our politicians as I have said are happy to merely have people live here, while they go across the river to work, instead of actually attracting businesses in NJ. Let NJ build up it's workforce, it's businesses.

Here is the article as it appears in the Star ledger - you will notice that the title says "TO Manhattan".



$1 billion is earmarked for rail tunnel to Manhattan
BY RON MARSICO STAR-LEDGER STAFF

A decades-old dream of digging a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River to Midtown Manhattan will gather momentum today when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is expected to approve a $1 billion authorization for the megaproject.

Agency officials say the huge outlay is just a beginning Ð by year's end they hope to designate another $1 billion to the tunnel as part of the agency's upcoming 10-year capital investment plan.

After years of visionary talk and little action, the Port Authority's anticipated $2 billion commitment represents a massive down payment on long-stalled plans to ease frustrations over rush-hour congestion delays by doubling capacity from the roughly 42,000 commuters each workday morning.

Agency officials hope their commitment ultimately will spur the federal government to fund at least half of the second trans-Hudson rail tunnel's estimated $6 billion price tag.

`By making this kind of commit ment now, we're sending a message to Washington that there are enormous local resources behind this project,’’ said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia.

While long endorsed by mass transit advocates,the second rail tunnel idea has languished because of daunting costs, environmental hurdles and competing pet projects of local and regional officials. But a consensus has jelled in recent years over the critical need to move more people into and out of Midtown, amid growing fears that a failure to do so will damage the region’s future economic prospects.

The Port Authority has a longstanding tradition of financing major transportation and economic development projects through its large bonding capacity. A project such as the rail tunnel could be financed through bonds paid off over decades by general revenue and potential future bridge and tunnel vehicle toll hikes and PATH rail fare increases.

Gov. Jon Corzine, a long-standing supporter of the additional tunnel, wants construction to begin in 2009. Completion of the tunnel, which will run adjacent to the existing one, is not expected until 2016 — at the earliest.

Advocates view the new tunnel as this generation’s George Washington Bridge in terms of adding transportation capacity across the Hudson River — albeit one that will serve trains, not cars, and whose architectural wonders largely will be invisible.

Coscia predicted the new tunnel eventually will be ‘‘the foundation of a mass transportation system that does not rely on the automobile.’’

The existing century-old, twotrack tunnel from New Jersey to New York’s Penn Station is often overwhelmed by NJ Transit and Amtrak trains’ growing needs to enter and leave the city — particularly during the morning and evening workday crunch times. A new double-track tunnel is considered critical to meet ballooning NJ Transit ridership, which is expected to reach 100,000 rush-hour passengers by 2015.

NJ Transit’s riders bear the brunt of routine delays. Amtrak trains have priority because Amtrak owns and maintains the tracks and tunnel into and out of Midtown Manhattan.

‘‘Each wave of economic growth that took place in New York and New Jersey was based on previously installed infrastructure,’’ said James Hughes, dean of Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Policy.

‘‘This is something that benefits the entire Port Authority region, and that’s why the Port Authority was created,’’ continued Hughes. ‘‘Other states, other regions have made massive investments in their transportation infrastructure and they’re challenging us economically. This is a reflection of that new reality that we just can’t sit back and let the economy take care of itself.’’

Building the tunnel also will mean expansion of New York Penn Station under 34 th Street to help accommodate t h e additional trains.

The Port Authority’s announcement follows last week’s decision by the Federal Transit Administration to allow preliminary engineering work to begin on the tunnel. While the FTA’s approval likely means future federal funding, the agency has not yet provided any guarantees of help.

Corzine recently committed $500 million in state financing to the tunnel.

‘‘It’s been 50 years since the Port Authority undertook a major transportation project like the tunnel,’’ said Anthony Coley, the governor’s spokesman. ‘‘With this commitment, we will be positioned for a significant contribution’’ from the federal government.

Members of the Regional Plan Association view the Port Authority’s action as further proof of the bistate agency’s recommitment to building transportation projects.

The tunnel plan ‘‘represents the Port Authority stepping up again after being absent in many ways for a generation,’’ said Tom Wright, the association’s executive vice president, recalling the agency’s role in key projects like the George Washington Bridge and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. ‘‘People understand the need for another generation of big-scale infrastructure.’’

Ron Marsico covers the Port Authority. He may be reached at rmarsico@starledger.com or (973) 392-7860.


Now don't get me wrong - I'm all for public transportation - but I feel that our politicians, as I have said, should be worrying more about how to get businesses into our struggling cities, instead of sending our citizens and money over to NY and into their coffers.

sreeja
06-19-2008, 12:54 AM
In my opinion it benefits New york.No benefits to New jersy.

JerseyDevil
03-14-2009, 03:39 PM
Here is my letter speaking out against the second Hudson Rail Tunnel...



This should have been written a long time ago. I would like to know how much our politicians get in campaign contributions from New York and Philadelphia. I see this as the only possible explanation for why New JERSEY politicians are so excited about exporting New Jersey jobs across the rivers.

While our cities struggle to get back on their feet, our politicians are high-fiving each other for getting funding for a tunnel to export our jobs to New York. Instead of building infrastructure to build up OUR cities, such as Camden and Newark, they are wasting our tax dollars that will primarily help the New York economy. Is Newark, the third oldest major city in America, destined to be a mere suburb of New York? Instead of New Jersey Politicians worrying about how to get New Jerseyans around our state and into our cities, we spend all our tax dollars on getting people out of our state – and in that process their money leaves with them. It's no wonder why our state is in fiscal crisis.

The problem isn't just in northern New Jersey, it is also in southern New Jersey, where our politicians are planning to extend the rail link to take people from New Jersey to their jobs in Philadelphia, completely by passing struggling Camden and investing in the revitalization of one of our cities. All this does is cause more suburban sprawl and traffic as our cities continue to fester in crime and corruption. I have to give credit to Mayor Cory Booker of Newark though, with a huge up-hill battle in a city full of corruption, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel there, I just wish more New Jerseyans would explore it.

I just don't get the New Jersey negative attitude, New York was a thousand times worse during the 70's and 80's than Newark is today, yet I still hear people saying how they wouldn't step foot in Newark. Philadelphia has only recently developed a skyline when they invested in the development of Center City and before that it was crime infested and dirty. Why doesn't New Jersey work at improving itself, instead of constantly accepting the crumbs our neighbors give us. I believe, with the RIGHT kind of vision from our politicians, we can see our cities develop into economic powerhouses which rival the current great cities of America, cities that generate money for our state – instead of sucking the New Jersey tax payer dry. A failing New Jersey city is everyone's problem, whether you live there or not, the corruption, crime, low education level, all affect every New Jerseyan. With financially strapped cities, they constantly need state funding, instead of being able to support themselves and actually generate money for the state. Without viable cities, which are the heart of any state, culturally, economically and image-wise, New Jersey will always be struggling. When one thinks of California, LA, San Diego come to mind, with Tennessee, one thinks of Memphis and Nashville, with Florida, Miami and Orlando. We need cities that have positive name recognition and New Jerseyans are proud to visit and which attract outside visitors and their money to the many cultural institutions cities provide.

Has anyone ever wondered why Philadelphia and New York continue to build office towers, while our cities struggle and haven't built one in years? Has anyone looked at the contrast between Camden and Philadelphia and wonder – where did all the skyscrapers come from in Philadelphia, while the Camden skyline basically hasn't changed since the early 1900's? Most of the workers in New York and Philadelphia are supplied from New Jersey, that's how they can support these towers – on the backs of New Jerseyans.

New Jersey Politicians, when questioned about the one-sided relationship with New York, state that this second Hudson rail tunnel will help bring New Yorkers to New Jersey for jobs. My answer to that is – if that was such a pressing problem right now – then wouldn't we have peak hours in BOTH directions right now, instead of just going into New York in the morning and out of New York in the evening. Wouldn't th Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, be jammed with commuters coming to their jobs in New Jersey each morning, instead of New Jerseyans lining up like cattle to get into New York? If we had just as many New Yorkers or more coming to New Jersey for their jobs, then I would be all for the tunnel, but it serves only one purpose and that is to get New Jersey residents to their jobs in New York. That shows me that it's a one sided situation and our politicians just don't get it.

So the question is – what are OUR politicians, New JERSEY politicians, doing to improve New JERSEY? It's time we demand our politicians to put Our state and OUR cities first before investing and funding and wasting any more of our tax dollars on the New York/Philadelphia transportation network. This is your tax dollars at work, do you want them working for New Jersey or New York and Philadelphia?


I am completely against this rail tunnel and all it will do is make New Jersey weaker in the long run and syphon more of our money out of the state and into New York.

MITHRANDIR
03-14-2009, 06:07 PM
Here is my letter speaking out against the second Hudson Rail Tunnel...



I am completely against this rail tunnel and all it will do is make New Jersey weaker in the long run and syphon more of our money out of the state and into New York.

Well said. We will see if politicians will put NJ's interests first.

The way some politicians push for this it seems like they have stock in trains or tunnel construction. ;)

JerseyDevil
05-04-2009, 09:40 AM
This is the latest on the exporting of New Jersey project New Jersey politicians insist on funding, while our cities struggle to get back on their feet...


Burrowing a tunnel under the Hudson River and into the future (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/05/burrowing_a_tunnel_under_the_h.html)
by Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
Sunday May 03, 2009, 1:00 PM

Sometime next month, the nation's biggest mass transit construction project in generations will begin, modestly, in North Bergen, where earth-moving machines will carve out an underpass beneath busy Routes 1&9.

The work will mark the start of an eight-year, $8.7 billion effort to build the first rail tunnels under the Hudson River in a century and the first link of any kind between New Jersey and Manhattan since the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge opened in 1962.

Known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, it is an undertaking nearly as immense as the construction of the two Gilded Age tunnels the new tubes will augment. It will employ thousands of people, many working deep underground in round-the-clock shifts.

Tunnel-boring machines longer than football fields will chew through the hard rock of the New Jersey Palisades and slog through toothpaste-like silt 100 feet beneath the Hudson's surface.

In Manhattan, the tunnels will end deep below 34th Street in a new two-tiered station stretching more than four-tenths of a mile, from Sixth to Eighth avenue, giving passengers access to 14 subway lines, PATH trains and the Long Island Rail Road.

When it is completed in 2017, its planners and backers say, the project will ease the commute for hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans, speeding service, creating more transfer-free trips and encouraging drivers to abandon jammed roads in favor of trains.

"It can't be overemphasized how important this project is," said Jeffrey M. Zupan, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit advocacy group that focuses on open space, economic policy, transportation and housing. "It creates another leap forward in increasing rail service. It's a project that must be built."

Beyond the immediate economic benefit of putting people to work, planners say, the tunnels will spur investment in Manhattan, creating an estimated 44,000 jobs. Many of those employees will come from New Jersey, Zupan says, citing studies that show 89 percent of new growth in the city draws workers from the west.

"People in New Jersey get access to higher-paying jobs in New York, and New York can tap into a highly skilled work force in New Jersey," Zupan said. "For each of the two states, it's a real synergy."

The project is also, in the view of transportation officials, a real necessity.

The existing tunnels, which enter the Palisades just a quarter mile north of the new tubes' route, reached capacity earlier this decade, creating a bottleneck for the NJ Transit and Amtrak trains that travel to and from Penn Station along the Northeast Corridor, the most congested stretch of track in the nation.

That translates into slower service and frequent delays. During peak travel periods, 23 trains pass through the old tunnels each hour, hardly enough at a time when NJ Transit sets ridership records each year.

"It's basically a capacity issue," said Zoe Baldwin, the New Jersey advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, another advocacy group. "We're just unable to run more trains."

When the new tunnels are completed, NJ Transit and Amtrak will increase the number of trains crossing the river to 34 per hour during peak periods. That number will gradually rise to a maximum 48 per hour by 2030, when ridership is projected to be nearly 60 percent higher than it is today.

HURDLES GALORE
Like the plan to build the tunnels a century ago -- a wildly ambitious endeavor that included construction of the original Penn Station and four tubes beneath the East River to Long Island -- the ARC project has had to overcome myriad bureaucratic, financial and engineering hurdles.

Talks among various agencies began in earnest in 1990. By 1995, NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey emerged as partners, embarking on a laborious process that would ultimately winnow 137 scenarios to one.

Along the way, a bold vision was scaled back significantly.

A connection to Grand Central Terminal was scrapped after New York City refused to allow digging near a 92-year-old water tunnel that serves much of Manhattan. The higher price of a Grand Central connection also was a concern. (Planners say the link can be revisited when New York City decommissions the water tunnel, a move expected in the next decade.)

Even more troubling to some, NJ Transit and the Port Authority eliminated a connection to the existing Penn Station. Passengers can walk along the sprawling underground concourse to get there, but trains using the new tunnels won't be able to pull alongside the station's platforms or continue on to Connecticut and Boston.

As a result, Amtrak will be relegated to the old tubes, and NJ Transit will continue to use them even when the new tunnels are open. In a testy letter to the ARC project director last April, former Amtrak president Alex Kummant complained the expensive initiative was now for the "sole benefit" of NJ Transit.

What's more, he said, the decision to drop the Penn Station connection could require the construction of yet another rail tunnel to help Amtrak meet its expected growth in ridership.

Amtrak's current president, Joseph H. Boardman, declined to comment for this story, but as chief of the Federal Railroad Administration last year, he echoed Kummant's concerns in a letter to the head of the Federal Transit Administration, which had final say on the ARC project.

"Given the complexity and cost of such an undertaking, we must make sure that the project delivers every ounce of capacity and flexibility that is reasonably possible," Boardman wrote. "Unfortunately, I do not believe NJT's plans achieve this goal."

A coalition of passenger groups continues to complain bitterly about the project, calling the new dead-end station a waste of money.

"It's one of the greatest bamboozle schemes ever put out by a mass transit agency," said Albert L. Papp Jr., vice chair of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. "What NJ Transit has done is propose to build a brand new railroad for its exclusive use. This is unconscionable. There's only one chance to get this right in our lifetime."

NJ Transit, the lead design agency, said it dropped the Penn Station connection only out of necessity, after test drilling showed unstable rock above the new station's proposed location. As a result, engineers were forced to lower the cavern depth by more than 30 feet. The mezzanine of the new station, known as the Penn Station Expansion, will now lie 150 feet below ground.

Because of the change, any link to the existing Penn Station would be too steep to safely operate trains, the agency said.

The project's proponents say that they, too, would have preferred connections to both Penn Station and Grand Central but that the plan, even in a scaled-back form, is too important to delay.

"The transportation and economic benefits of this project are going to far surpass any of NARP's concerns," said Baldwin, the New Jersey advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

CASSATT'S LEGACY
At the dawn of the 20th century, the Hudson River was a crowded place. Ferries provided the only means of transport to Manhattan, subjecting travelers to the vagaries of weather and currents.

Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, perceived a better way, one he believed would ultimately provide great benefit to his bottom line. He proposed a set of tunnels though the Palisades, descending below the river in Hoboken, and continuing to the world's grandest station, where a second set of tunnels would push out east to Long Island.

Editorial writers compared the project to the construction of the Panama Canal, which at the time was still years from completion. Cassatt's investors despised the idea.

"The shareholders thought it was a colossal waste of money," said Jill Jones, author of "Conquering Gotham," a book that chronicles the work. "Many people believed the whole project would fail because the tunnels would fail."

Indeed, previous efforts showed tunnel-boring was dangerous, uncertain work. Laborers known as sandhogs toiled deep underground, breathing compressed air in pressurized chambers that made them susceptible to the bends. Men sometimes died in cave-ins. They drowned when river water exploited cracks and rushed in. They were killed while handling dynamite.

An ambitious campaign to dig the first Hudson River tunnels -- now the PATH tubes -- proved particularly deadly. On one day alone -- July 21, 1880 -- 20 men drowned when the river breached one of the tunnels, which were financed by the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.

Work was abandoned, only to be started again years later. The tunnels finally opened for service in 1908, two years ahead of the Pennsylvania Railroad tubes.

Given the many perils, Cassatt's tunnels had a remarkable safety record, Jones said, with just two lives lost.

continued...

JerseyDevil
05-04-2009, 09:41 AM
Not that it was easy or quick.

Under the river, sandhogs pushed heavy shields through the muck, opening doors that allowed silt to flow through. Donkeys hauled the material away in carts. At the river's edges, the workers used axes to hack away at pier pilings and other debris, Jones said.

Because separate teams began tunneling on each side of the river, with plans to meet in the middle, alignment meant everything. The workers triangulated their positions several times a day, using piano wire that stretched out of the tunnels and up to towers on shore.

With every 2 feet, 10 inches gained, the sandhogs assembled large iron rings, forming the tubes' skeletons.

Progress could be painstaking.

Some days, Jones said, the workers made just 3 feet or less. Others, they advanced 30 feet. Through the life of the project, workers averaged about 14 feet a day, she said.

The first two teams met beneath the Hudson in 1906, three years after the start of construction. The two tunnels would open to the public four years later. Even then, Jones said, railroad officials worried the tubes wouldn't be safe because they shifted ever so slightly with the current. They still do so today.

"Having 750-ton trains going back and forth all day, they watched this with a fair amount of trepidation," Jones said. "But in the end, all was well."

CLAWING THROUGH THE ROCK
A century later, the philosophy of digging a tunnel remains largely the same, but the methods and technology have vastly improved.

Instead of piano wire to gauge position, today's workers use lasers and satellites. Custom-built tunnel-boring machines powered by electricity and controlled by computers claw through rock at a rate of 30 to 40 feet per day, reducing the need for blasting.

The leading edge of each machine, a disc more than 24 feet in diameter, is outfitted with some 50 wheels made of special steel alloys. When the machine advances, the wheels form concentric rings, splitting the rock ahead, said Dick Flanagan, the project's chief tunnel engineer.

The excavated pieces, generally smaller than a fist, then pass behind the machine on conveyor belts. The entire assembly stretches more than 300 feet, Flanagan said.

Beneath the Hudson, a similar boring mechanism known as an earth pressure balance machine is expected to advance up to 30 feet per day, using soil rippers to push through the silt. The machines operate without the need for compressed air, sparing modern sandhogs from the risk of the bends.

Some challenges are expected near the New Jersey shoreline, where the tough diabase -- igneous rock -- of the Palisades gives way to softer shale, siltstone and clay.

Dave Donatelli, project manager for the consortium of engineering and design firms working on ARC, said such mixed-base conditions can be dealt with by literally freezing patches of soft earth ahead with liquid nitrogen.

That allows the rock cutters to grind away without encountering a flood of runny material. A cementlike grout could achieve the same purpose, Donatelli said.

"It's extremely complex, but it's not something that we as engineers haven't done before," he said.

The tunnels will be lined with concrete, which can be poured on-site or delivered in sections.

In Manhattan, where the new station will sit in bedrock 450 million years old, workers will do more blasting. They also will use drilling jumbles, hydraulically powered machines with multiple arms.

Work on many of the project's various segments will take place at the same time, with construction expected to reach its busiest phase in 2012.

It is certain to be a test of organization and choreography.

"You'll have materials coming out of shafts and materials going into shafts, so you've got to take a systems approach," Flanagan said. "There's 100 things going on at once."

By the time the digging is done, workers will have cut through more than 8 miles of the underground, excavating an estimated 2 million cubic yards of rock, soil and silt -- enough material, Donatelli says, to fill Giants Stadium.

Some of that material will form the base of a new 82-acre rail yard in Kearny. More will be used to line embankments for new tracks that will run alongside the Northeast Corridor from Secaucus to the tunnels in North Bergen. Leftovers will be sent to approved dump sites.

All of it will be hauled by trucks. Day in and day out, dump trucks will head to and from Kearny and Secaucus. In Manhattan, where the most rock and soil will be excavated, an estimated 255 trucks per day -- 10 to 11 per hour -- will head to New Jersey and back through the Lincoln Tunnel.

ADDING UP THE COSTS
Taken in its entirety, it is expensive work, and it could grow even more expensive as construction moves ahead. Even the plan's backers say they won't be surprised if the final price tag -- financed entirely with public dollars -- runs $1 billion or more above projections.

As late as October of last year, planners said the work would cost $7.6 billion, or $1.1 billion below the current estimate. ARC spokesman Paul Wyckoff said the projection was raised because the Federal Transit Administration required that project managers factor in inflation at a higher rate and budget at least $500 million more for contingencies.

As it stands now, the Port Authority has committed $3 billion. NJ Transit has secured $1.5 billion, and an additional $1.25 billion will come from New Jersey toll revenues. The federal government is expected to fund the remaining $3 billion.

Zupan of the Regional Plan Association said the possibility of additional costs in the years ahead might seem hard to swallow, but he argued the expense should be measured in terms of the tunnels' life span.

"Once you build it, you'll probably have it not for 100 years but 200 years," Zupan said. "After all, the existing tunnels are 100 years old, and there's no sign we're going to shut them down. So the fact that it cost $1 billion or $2 billion more in 2009 is going to be pretty inconsequential when someone looks at it in 2109."



This statement is what I've been arguing ALL along -


...the tunnels will spur investment in Manhattan, creating an estimated 44,000 jobs. Many of those employees will come from New Jersey, Zupan says, citing studies that show 89 percent of new growth in the city draws workers from the west.

"People in New Jersey get access to higher-paying jobs in New York, and New York can tap into a highly skilled work force in New Jersey,"

New Jersey politicians are so proud that once again - we get the crumbs from the construction jobs - while New York gets the long term benefits of more high paying jobs. Don't forget - we then have to build hospitals and expand our schools - which are what costs more in tax money than what residents actually bring in in taxes. We NEED BUSINESSES!!! We need to worry about Camden, Newark and Trenton. Zupan doesn't acknowledge the fact that if we attracted these businesses into New Jersey cities, we can have those high paying jobs right here in New Jersey, and reap the benefits of the corporate taxes that continue to make New York thrive.

It's no wonder New Jersey is bankrupt with the idiots we have supposedly representing this state!

Now that the project is approved, they can say what it was all about the entire time. Getting workers from New JERSEY - into New York and supporting the Manhattan economy while our cities - just become bedroom communities and New Jersey gets more sprawl, traffic and exurbia and HIGHER TAXES because we don't have the ratables coming from the businesses.

I posted on the NJ.com blog under the article, but I don't know if it will be approved...



It's just more exporting of our jobs into New York, as our cities struggle to survive. New York thrives on the backs of New Jersey and this is just more proof. As Camden and Newark struggle to get back their feet, our politicians continue to make it impossible to attract businessed into our cities and then waste money on rail extensions and tunnels to by-pass our cities to take them directly to Philadelphia and New York. How much do our politicians get in campaign donations from New York in Philadelphia? When will New Jerseyans demand that our politicians put New Jersey first???


You can read more about it at -
http://forum.aboutnewjersey.com/showthread.php?t=356

For those who say this is the first time they are hearing of it being a passenger tunnel - that message thread was started on May 15, - 3 YEARS ago.

JerseyDevil
05-18-2009, 03:25 PM
This is somewhat off topic from the 2nd rail link to manhattan - but we have touched on it here too - and that is the rail extension into Gloucester to get commuters into Philadelphia. same story - different city. Well almost - I guess some people have developed a brain and have started to say - wait - what are the benefits for New Jersey?



Gloucester County rail link to Camden, Philly gets on track (http://www.njbiz.com/article.asp?aID=78082)
By Shankar P.
5/12/2009

The much-awaited extension of passenger rail service from Camden to Gloucester County is to get closer to reality today, as Gov. Jon S. Corzine is scheduled to announce the project at an event in Gloucester County’s Woodbury this afternoon.

The Delaware River Port Authority, which runs the Port Authority Transportation Corp., or PATCO, service, had originally proposed the project to help the rapidly developing Gloucester County cope with its population growth and traffic congestion.

The new rail line would use existing Conrail tracks that run the 18.5 miles between Glassboro to Gloucester City and Camden, from where it runs another 4.4 miles into Center City Philadelphia, according to a DRPA document.

The New Jersey State Planning Commission earlier this year endorsed the plan to use the existing Conrail tracks over a few other options. Two of those options were to run the service down the medians of major highways — one following Route 42 and the Atlantic City Expressway, the other along Route 55 to Glassboro.

Jay Corbalis, a policy analyst at New Jersey Future, a Trenton policy think thank, said the plan to use the existing Conrail tracks makes better sense than others because “it will connect older traditional towns, act as a catalyst for centralizing and expanding job growth, reduce highway congestion and counterbalance the forces of sprawl.”

Tim Evans, director of research at New Jersey Future, said he likes the plan over those of the highway alignment.

“When you locate a train station on highways, you don’t get as much pedestrian activity,” he said. “Businesses that depend on pedestrian traffic won’t be able to thrive on a highway.”

The PATCO extension, as it is planned, would bring new opportunities for businesses in towns along its route, including restaurants, convenience stores and other retail establishments, according to Evans.

Existing businesses in those towns would benefit also because the rail line would bring commuting options for their employees, Evans said. The alignment linking downtowns would also run within walking distance of large Gloucester County employers, such as Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury and Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey Future said in a recent policy note on the plan.

Check NJBIZ.com later this afternoon with updates from the governor’s announcement.

E-mail to shankar_p@njbiz.com


I love these quotes here - -



"it will connect older traditional towns, act as a catalyst for centralizing and expanding job growth, reduce highway congestion and counterbalance the forces of sprawl.”

“When you locate a train station on highways, you don’t get as much pedestrian activity,” he said. “Businesses that depend on pedestrian traffic won’t be able to thrive on a highway.”

FINALLY some people looking out for New Jersey and trying to bring some economy benefits to OUR state and towns - instead of always looking at subsidizing out neighboring states.

Check out the New Jersey Future (http://www.njfuture.org/) website.

JerseyDevil
09-12-2010, 09:56 AM
NJ is suspending funding on the 2nd rail tunnel to manhattan. I say good start - now all we need to do is KILL the project - and invest in New JERSEY's cities - where are money SHOULD be going to.



N.J. halts new work on $8.7B N.Y.-N.J. tunnel project due to budget issues (http://bit.ly/9cqC7e)
Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 7:00 AM
Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger

New Jersey is temporarily shutting down all new work and suspending additional contract bids on an $8.7 billion railway tunnel to New York because federal officials say the project may go as much as a billion dollars over budget — money New Jersey doesn’t have.

The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey already each are putting in $3 billion for the massive public works project, with New Jersey’s share at $2.7 billion.

The month-long suspension of all new activity — imposed by NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein in the wake of concerns by the Federal Transit Administration — will be used to re-examine the budget numbers.
"During that 30 days, we’re going to do a full evaluation of our go-forward costs," Weinstein said.

He added that he hoped to use the time to prove to all parties involved in the project that the $8.7 billion estimate is accurate.

Work already under way, including a track underpass in North Bergen and a tunnel segment under the Palisades, will be allowed to continue. But all new work, including real estate acquisition and the awarding of one major contract already bid, will be frozen.

New Jersey officials have long considered the tunnel vital to the state’s economic future as it would relieve the flow of more than 22,000 cars a day between New York and New Jersey, double the rail capacity to the city, and create 6,000 construction jobs.

More than $600 million has been spent on the project and $1.2 billion has been committed in contracts and obligations.

"We feel pretty strongly that the current cost estimate, which is $8.7 billion, is a number we can achieve," Weinstein said. "But I’m under clear direction by the governor that this is not going to be a bottomless pit. If we are to go forward, he wants to know the costs and budget are under control."

The federal government could require New Jersey to add hundreds of millions in contingency funds to the tunnel project budget, if it determined there was insufficient money budgeted to cover overruns on what is already one of the most expensive public works projects in the country.

A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie could not be reached for comment.
However, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) was highly critical of the suspension.

"This stoppage could put billions of dollars in federal funding at risk. These funds are dedicated to New Jersey and could deprive the state of thousands of desperately needed good-paying jobs," he said. "We have worked hard together for years with the state of New Jersey and the federal government to advance this project, which is critical for New Jersey’s economy and our future."

He urged Christie to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

A spokesman for the Port Authority last night deferred all questions to NJ Transit.

The project, officially known as the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, is scheduled to be completed by late 2018 and is designed to more than double rail capacity between New Jersey and New York, from 23 trains per hour during peak periods to 48 trains per hour.

Under the plan, new tracks will be built from Secaucus Junction to North Bergen and the western edge of the Palisades. From there, the tracks will go under Tonnelle Avenue and into two new tunnels that will be bored more than 100 feet below ground.

The new tunnels will reach Manhattan between 28th and 29th streets, and terminate at a new rail station that will be built deep below 34th Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.

Critics have long assailed the project for its costs and shortcomings that were unavoidable because of engineering necessity.

The tunnel does not add any capacity to Amtrak. And the tracks cannot be extended to Grand Central Terminal, which would have eased congestion from New Jersey commuters who work on the East Side, because the route is blocked by a New York City water tunnel. Forced down deep to avoid a subway line, the tracks will arrive at a rail station so far underground that commuters will have to ride up a very long escalator or ride an elevator to get to street level.

Still, there has been little debate that increased commuter capacity is desperately needed. The number of people riding the trains to New York has increased more than four-fold in the past two decades — a work force that brings back $50 billion a year in income from New York to New Jersey.

Double-decker train cars and new signaling systems have helped boost the number of trains and available seats, but the bottleneck through which all New York-bound trains must travel — two, century-old tunnels originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and now operated by Amtrak — has reached its limit. The tunnels simply cannot accommodate any additional traffic.

But the estimated cost of the new tunnels has steadily climbed since the project was first approved. The initial projection in 2005 was $5 billion. As recently as 2008, the Federal Transit Administration had asked the state to put in as much as $1.1 billion in contingency expenses to accommodate potential increases in construction costs and interest rates, bringing the price tag from $7.6 billion up to $8.7 billion.

The new questions over the tunnel’s cost come in the wake of reviews by the FTA of other high-profile New York regional transit project — some well over budget and significantly behind schedule.

According to FTA projections, the Long Island Rail Road’s $7.3 billion East Side Access project was $800 million over budget and more than 18 months behind schedule. And the plan to create a Second Avenue subway line was found to be roughly $500 million over budget, and now 14 months behind schedule.

The federal agency has not yet come up with its projections on the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, said Weinstein. But following a five-month review, it told the state that "based on experience with other major tunneling-projects in the region, additional contingency factors could impact the project’s overall cost estimate."

Weinstein expects to meet soon with Peter Rogoff, administrator of the FTA, who in public statements has been pegging the tunnel cost at between $9 billion and $10 billion.

FTA officials could not be reached last night.

Weinstein remains convinced the tunnel project will survive, although there are other dynamics in play. Money for transportation projects is already in short supply and the nearly broke Transportation Trust Fund — which pays for highway and rail programs — is now on life support and there is little appetite to raise tolls or a gas tax to replenish the capital improvement fund.