Tunnels, Infrastructure, and Stupid Governors (like that of New Jersey)

Here in Switzerland people may have noticed the news last month about the new 57km (35 mile) Gotthard Tunnel having been broken through from both sides.  The Swiss are to be congratulated on their achievement, which by the way, cost $13 billion, but will shift huge amounts of freight from trucks and roads to rail, reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has cancelled a new rail tunnel project across the Hudson because, he claimed, it was over budget.  Having lived in New Jersey for many years, of course it was it was going to be over budget, to say the least.  But by most reports it wasn’t really that over budget, and the governor seemed to ignore many facts that were placed in front of him, forgoing $3 billion in federal aid.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows a deal when he sees one, being a business man.  And so now he has proposed extending the Number 7 subway line across the Hudson to Secaucus, according to the this article in the Wall Street Journal.  From a commuter perspective this would be second best, because it would mean yet another transfer to get to where one is going.  Furthermore, the implications to PATH will have to be carefully studied.  One wonders what it would take to combine PATH with the subway.  A whole lot of downtime comes to mind, of course.  I don’t even know if they use the same gauge track.

Anyway, it’s nice to see someone in America looking at infrastructure in a serious way.

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