New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie officially pulled state funding from a $8.7 billion rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan yesterday, killing the largest U.S. public works project under construction.
In withdrawing funding for the project, which would have created 6,000 construction jobs, Christie sided with deficit cutting over economic stimulus, an issue dividing politicians before next Tuesday’s elections.
Christie, a Republican, originally withdrew funding for the tunnel on Oct. 7, saying his state lacked the money to cover cost overruns that could reach as high as $4.8 billion, but he had been reconsidering the decision at the request of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
“This decision is final.” Christie told reporters.
The project has been backed by Democratic politicians and commentators arguing the tunnel was needed to complement the single, century-old passenger rail tunnel linking New Jersey and Manhattan.