November 15, 2010 / 11:31 PM / in 9 years

New York "well positioned" for tunnel funds: senator

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The fate of federal money earmarked for a canceled New Jersey tunnel could be decided in the next month and some of the money will likely stay in the region, a New York senator said on Monday following a meeting with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke with LaHood on Monday afternoon to request that some of the $3 billion in federal infrastructure money be redirected to subway and rail projects in her state.

“I made the case to Secretary LaHood that the ARC Tunnel would have contributed to economic growth in our region, so the funding should be redirected to other projects that will create jobs in our area,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“He thought there could be a decision in the next 30 days or so and that New York is well-positioned to get some of the funding,” the statement said.

A spokeswoman for LaHood declined to comment.

The $8.7 billion commuter rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan would have been America’s largest public-works project, creating 6,000 construction jobs.

Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, withdrew $2.7 billion in state funding for the project because he said cash-strapped New Jersey could not afford billions of dollars in likely cost overruns.

Since then, Gillibrand, a Democrat, has lobbied for a share of the money, which she said could help pay for a subway extension in Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access project.

Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Kenneth Barry

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