Yo! Cuomo … Christie … Listen Up!

Anyone who has been paying any attention knows that the tunnel under the Hudson River and connecting New York City with New Jersey need to be replaced. It’s over 100 years old and was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


A century-old train tunnel beneath the Hudson River. Credit: Mel Evans, Associated Press

There are actually two tunnels, side-by-side, each almost four-and-a-half miles long. Together they handle literally thousands of trains a day. There are commuter trains to and from New Jersey, plus a lot of Amtrak trains–those running between Washington and Boston, as well as a number of the Amtrak long-distance trains for which New York is a terminus: the two Florida trains, the Crescent, the Cardinal, the Vermonter, and the Carolinian. Then there are the trains running between New York and Harrisburg by way of Philly, and the Pennsylvanian linking New York City and Pittsburgh.
The consequences are staggering should the existing tunnels sudenly become unusable. Sooner and maybe later, that’s inevitable, and the people who know about this stuff say the regional economy would lose $100 million a day. Yes, a day! And it will literally take 2-3 years to complete replacement tunnels.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said that neglecting this problem is almost criminal. He wants to meet with Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, and Andrew Cuomo, New York State’s Democratic governor. After a lot of hemming and hawing, Christie said OK, he’ll meet with Foxx. Cuomo says (I’m paraphrasing), What’s the point of meeting until we know that the feds are going to pony up 80-percent of the estimated $14 or $15 billion?
The point?? Seems to me, governor, if the potential hit to the economy is a hundred million bucks a day, it would be a damn good idea to get off your okole*, go to Washington, meet with Secretary Foxx, and make real nice. And take Christie with you.
*Hawaiian for butt.