Christie: Feds' Tunnel Offer "A Good Start"

Feds offered to credit Jersey half the bill if it pays the whole thing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    embers of labor unions hold a rally in support of the planned 'Access to the Region's Core' (ARC) rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York City October 19, 2010 in North Bergen, New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie plans to kill the project due to budget constraints. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

    Gov. Chris Christie says an offer to credit New Jersey $128 million of the $271 million the federal government says it's owed for an abandoned rail tunnel project is "a good start.''

    Christie said Thursday he hasn't heard directly from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on reducing the tab for the Hudson River tunnel he killed in October.      

    The Associated Press obtained from Sen. Frank Lautenberg Wednesday a copy of a letter in which LaHood offers to credit New Jersey nearly half the money the state owes -- but only if it repays the entire amount first.

    Christie says he'd be happy to discuss it personally with LaHood. Christie recently OK'd hiring a Washington law firm to fight the tunnel tab.

    The governor spiked the $8.7 billion project over potential cost overruns.