Asbury Park Press columnist Bob Ingle criticized Senator Frank Lautenberg for continuing to defend the proposal to build a deep-cavern terminal far below 34th Street in Manhattan as part of the ARC Project. NJT had proposed new tunnels into Manhattan that would not go to the existing Penn Station, but now acknowledges that the cost of a new deep-cavern terminal will be billions of dollars more than previously stated.
Ingle said: “U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg is missing a chance to demonstrate his worth in Washington and become a hero back home but instead he keeps pushing the same old plan.” Lautenberg held a press conference at Penn Station in Newark to defend the plan but, according to Ingle, he merely “sounded old themes.”
Ingle quoted Gov. Chris Christie as reacting to Lautenberg’s conference by saying: “Senator Lautenberg can do what senators do, which is talk. . . . What governors are supposed to do is decide. If it’s going to cost New Jerseyans 2 to 5 billion more than what it’s projected to cost now, it’s not going to happen.”
Ingle also called on Lautenberg to help promote a new tunnel that Amtrak could use, rather than the deep-cavern proposal that Christie rejected.
The Lackawanna Coalition and allied rider advocates have consistently called for new tunnels to go to the existing Penn Station, so Amtrak and NJT can both use them, noting that such a plan will deliver better performance, while saving billions of dollars.
Ingle’s column was formerly to be found on the paper’s web site, http://www.app.com/article/20101017/OPINION0503/10170329/1093/Lautenberg-should-get-behind-a-plan-that-makes-sense.