Chris Christie Claims He Will Pursue the Trans-Hudson Tunnel Project as President

“If I am president of the United States, I call a meeting between the president, my secretary of transportation, the governor of New York and the governor of New Jersey and say, ‘Listen, if we are all in this even Steven, if we are all going to put in an equal share, then let’s go build these tunnels under the Hudson River,’ ” Mr. Christie said in an interview with the radio talk show host Larry Kudlow, which will be broadcast on Saturday on WABC-AM.

“Then, everyone has an incentive to have the project run right, to run efficiently because everybody is on the hook,” Mr. Christie added.

The governor’s comments — and his hypothetical phrasing — has attracted the attention of his critics, who say his statements emphasize how little he has done to help improve transportation.

“This is not a hypothetical issue, this is a real issue, and he could be doing something about it,” said Martin Robins, the founding director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, who was the director of the tunnel project during the mid-1990s. “The question is, what has he done, what will he do in the next 18 months as the governor of New Jersey?”

Commuters have faced severe delays several days this week, including on Friday, because of electrical problems in the aging tunnels beneath the river.

In a separate statement on Friday, Mr. Christie placed blame for the delays on Amtrak. “N.J. Transit commuters were victimized by nearly an entire week of extreme delays and cancellations for one reason only: Amtrak’s indifference to New Jersey commuters and its abject neglect of the infrastructure that New Jersey and our entire region relies upon,” he said.

Amtrak did not directly respond to Mr. Christie’s pointed remarks, but a spokesman did say the agency “regrets and apologizes for the inconvenience.”

“These power failures demonstrate the urgent need for a funding solution so we can build and renew the infrastructure needed to keep this region and the economy moving,” the spokesman, Craig Schulz, said in a statement.

The governor has argued that he recognized the need for additional rail capacity across the Hudson, as long as the cost does not disproportionately fall on New Jersey. But his critics said they were surprised by Mr. Christie’s response on Friday, saying they struggled to recall a previous instance when he had acknowledged the issue and its severity.

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