TRENTON — Despite his repeated claims the Hudson River train tunnel was projected to run $2.3 billion to $5.3 billion over budget, Gov. Chris Christie has known for two weeks that the official federal estimate showed a cost overrun of as low as $1 billion, two people close to the project said.
As the latest tunnel episode unfolded, the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee said his request for records related to Christie’s decision to cancel the tunnel failed to justify the governor’s claim of up to $5.3 billion on cost overruns.
"That claim seems as though it was simply pulled out of thin air by the governor," Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) said. "The governor is risking New Jersey’s economic future with numbers that, at least according to these documents, have no basis in reality."
Among the hundreds of pages of documents Wisniewski received through his open records request was a monthly report, amended Oct. 5 — two days before Christie’s announcement that he was cancelling the project — that noted: "The overall project remains within budget."This is obviously the NJEA's fault.