As rail woes persist, Christie mum on tunnel project he axed

Officials take part in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Gateway project in Atlantic City

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who killed a commuter rail-tunnel project to Manhattan in 2010, said he has personally appealed to President Donald Trump to fund a new underground crossing after he proposed a federal budget that would eliminate crucial financing.

At the news conference, a handful of protesters criticized Christie for underfunding New Jersey transportation and cancelling a previous rail tunnel project. The project would've added a second tunnel between NY and New Jersey to augment a 110-year-old tunnel.

Protestors gathered outside the meeting at Newark Penn Station to blame the governor for the recent rail issues.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from Newark, called the Northeast Corridor "the carotid artery of the body of our nation", strangled every time service stops.

Christie said Gateway is superior to ARC because it connects to Penn Station (the ARC would have taken commuters to Herald Square), and because the tunnel would be 50 percent funded by the federal government, though the money has not yet been appropriated.

The $20 billion project rebuilds the portal bridge over the Hackensack River and adds two tunnels under the Hudson, allowing Amtrak to fix the existing tunnels damaged by Superstorm Sandy. "And all of us should be calling on the federal administration to follow through".

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Then on Wednesday, a disabled train caused delays at Penn Station. Cory Booker on Wednesday challenged President Donald Trump to dispatch his secretary of transportation to personally inspect Amtrak's decrepit Hudson River tunnels to NY. "The president is well aware of my point of view on this project, and I absolutely will continue to speak my mind on this, both publicly and privately".

"That's done. That's history", Booker said.

As Christie spoke about the importance of new rail tunnels Wednesday, protesters were also on the scene, holding up signs that read "hypocrite", and "resist Trump".

Once reporters started asking questions, Booker urged them to focus not on any of the prior decisions, but those that need to be made going forward to ensure that the ongoing commuting problems are addressed. "And I hate that I have to revisit that all the time", Booker said.

"She needs to see the project that we all agreed upon during the Obama administration", Christie said, referring to Gateway. Before he could answer, Booker leapt to Christie's defense. "He has been at the helm of a bleeding of resources".

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