Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Maybe Just Alarmism

I was a bit annoyed by transit nerds who gave 2 cheers when Christie killed the tunnel. Their criticisms of the project were correct, but like most things transit it isn't "this or my preferred project" it's "this or nothing." We might find out the consequences of "nothing."

The current tunnels under the Hudson River were built in 1908 and are rapidly deteriorating. This problem was exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy, which filled the tunnels with corrosive salt water, and engineers now estimate that without major overhauls the tunnels are likely to fail within the next 10 years. The closing of either tunnel would be devastating because it would essentially shut down the Northeast Corridor, the transit route from Boston to Washington that produces over $3 trillion in economic output — a full 20 percent of the national gross domestic product.