Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Everyone knows the twin train tunnels under the Hudson River are a vital link of the eastern corridor. Everyone knows the 100-year-old tunnels are in need of repair. However, fixing them has become an exercise in finger pointing between the States of New Jersey and New York and the federal government. The states are ready to start digging with a federal grant of several billion. The federal government says it has no money to give but it could make a loan. Not good enough says the governor of New York. The governor of New Jersey long ago pulled out of the tunnel project because the state hasn't the money. But, that doesn't solve the issue -- digging replacement tunnels, so the old ones can be repaired and brought back into service. Finger-pointing is an exercise in negative PR. It's a "not-my-problem" statement. The new tunnels are being held hostage to the treasury, and everyone is waiting for the other to blink. Usually this goes on until one or the other party gives in or more likely, one or the other existing tunnels have a major problem that forces a shutdown. If and when that happens, hundreds of thousands of commuters and travelers on the East Coast will be inconvenienced. Angry citizens become hostile voters. Then the governors of New York and New Jersey will have something to worry about.