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In a March 14  Crain’s New York Business OpEd, New York Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson called on New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to take the lead in restarting the planning process for a new commuter rail tunnel below the Hudson River.

Mr. Anderson’s OpEd was prompted by Governor Christie’s decision last October to terminate construction of the vital new trans-Hudson rail tunnel known as Access to the Region’s Core (ARC).  The project had recently broken ground after fifteen years of planning and more than $600 million in initial investment. 

Despite broad support from the public and a host of New York and New Jersey officials, as well as an unprecedented $9 billion in funding assembled, Governor Christie scuttled the project on the grounds that New Jersey taxpayers would be on the hook for any and all cost overruns. 

Since the project’s termination, leaders in government have looked at alternative ideas, including the City of New York’s proposal to extend the #7 line to New Jersey, and another by Amtrak and New Jersey Senators Lautenberg and Menendez to bring a new tunnel directly into Penn Station. 

Speaking on behalf of the Building Congress, Mr. Anderson urged Governors Cuomo and Christie to lead a consensus building process which would culminate in the selection of “a well-defined, affordable project where the costs and risks are shared appropriately.”

The consensus building effort, Mr. Anderson continued, should include all of the multiple stakeholders involved in funding and maintaining the region’s transportation network.  Moreover, the process should conclude with an accepted “all in” cost for the project, agreement on and allocation of risks, designated funding sources, and agreement on which parties will pay for cost overruns.


Call on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie to convene a stakeholder process that is empowered to select a desired project to replace the ARC Tunnel and to commit to terms that fairly distribute costs and risks.

Join the New York Building Congress and become active on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that will be following this issue and others vital to our regional transportation network.


Mar 2011