Christie Takes Credit for New Tunnel Plan

Says he may help fund it, now that it's mostly NYC's job

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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)

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his decision to cancel a new tunnel linking the Garden State and Manhattan has resulted in a far better plan.

    At a town hall meeting Wednesday, Christie said a new proposal to build a second commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River is a better deal for New Jersey and will be better for commuters.

    "New Jersey was the patsy that was going to put up the entire tab," Christie said of the former project, struck down last October because of potential cost overruns.
           
    The new project is estimated to cost $13.5 billion.

    The tunnel project had been the largest public works project in the United States.

    Meanwhile Wednesday, Standard and Poor's downgraded New Jersey's bond general obligation bond rating, citing the state's increasing pension and health care obligations.

    The state's general obligation bond rating was downgraded one notch to AA-minus, which could affect its ability to borrow money.
           
    Gov. Chris Christie blamed the Legislature, which he said wasn't moving fast enough in making reforms.
           
    "It's going to cost us more to borrow because those in the Legislature have acted for the special interests, not the public interest,'' Christie said. ``The clock is ticking away on a pension and benefit bomb that can damage the health of the finances of our state.''