The End of the ARC Tunnel
Today Governor Christie announced that he was terminating the ARC Tunnel project, effective immediately. Look for a more thorough retrospective on this decision from New Jersey Future soon. In the meantime, below is a statement issued by New Jersey Future today in response to the news:
New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach today issued the following statement in response to the decision to terminate the ARC tunnel project:
“New Jersey Future was disappointed by today’s decision to terminate the ARC tunnel project. This decision will not only have a negative impact on all New Jersey commuters — drivers and transit riders alike — but will also diminish New Jersey’s long-term potential for economic growth, as congestion and lack of access make the state less competitive regionally. We are not setting the stage for growing our economy by avoiding critical infrastructure investments — investments that will only become more costly in the future.
“Moreover, as an organization that promotes smart growth in New Jersey, we believe the decision to terminate the ARC tunnel project will have a profoundly negative effect on the state’s land-use patterns. By increasing capacity and adding service to New Jersey’s rail network, the ARC tunnel would have spurred the type of sustainable, transit-oriented development that would allow the state to accommodate new residents while preserving open space. Instead, we will likely see increased auto-oriented sprawl, as well as a migration of jobs and residents to places with better transit service to New York City, the region’s unquestioned economic engine.
“The ARC tunnel project is the best solution to the need for new capacity on New Jersey’s rail network under the Hudson River. It was the result of 20 years of planning, designing and negotiations, and represented an unprecedented commitment of funds by the federal government. While fiscal prudence is imperative in these lean times, killing the tunnel is not prudent, fiscally or otherwise. The capacity constraints faced by New Jersey Transit are real and will need to be addressed — and when they are, New Jersey will likely pay a price far heavier than the ARC tunnel.”