New Jersey governor Chris Christie reaffirmed his decision to cancel the "access to the regional core" tunnel across the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York. Christie had suspended his previous decision pending discussion of alternatives with the US Department of Transportation.
In the final analysis, according to Christie, none of the alternatives would have capped New Jersey's liability at its present level, which assumed a project cost of $8.7 billion. Christie told the Moorestown Community House, "No more blank checks from the taxpayers of New Jersey, not on my watch."
Current estimates for the project have range from $9.8 billion to more than $12 billion, which would require New Jersey to pay an additional $1.1 billion to $3.3 billion, since under the funding agreement approved by former governor John Corzine, New Jersey was responsible for any cost overruns. In fact, based upon the experience with other projects (such as Boston's Big Dig), New Jersey could have seen its bill run to another $10 billion or more.
Christie's decision is unprecedented. This may be the first time in decades that a major infrastructure project already under construction has been cancelled because its costs had spiraled out of control. Such cost performance has been the rule, rather than the exception. Major research by Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg, Nils Bruzelius (a Swedish transport consultant) and Werner Rottenberg (University of Karlsruhe and former president of the World Conference on Transport Research) covering 80 years of infrastructure projects found routine under-estimation of costs and over-estimation of ridership and revenue (Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition ).