Feds Add Interest to Scrapped NJ Rail Tunnel Bill

Friday, Sep 30, 2011  |  Updated 9:47 AM EDT
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Officials say New Jersey now owes the Federal Transit Administration nearly $274 million for a railroad tunnel project that Gov. Chris Christie scrapped nearly a year ago.

The previous estimate had been $271 million. The new total includes more than $2.6 million in interest and penalties that the FTA is tacking on while Christie's administration fights repayment.

New Jersey Transit spokesman Paul Wyckoff tells The Record newspaper that attorneys "are still negotiating" to have the debt reduced and minimize the cost to citizens.

Christie halted the Hudson River tunnel project last year because he feared taxpayers would be saddled with a potential $5 billion in cost overruns.

Taxpayers have paid more than $1 million to a law firm that is challenging whether the state needs to give the money back.

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