(TRENTON) – Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Chairman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) released the following statement Thursday after Gov. Chris Christie halted construction of the new Hudson River commuter rail tunnel to New York City:
“Walking away from this project that is so vital to our economic future is irresponsible.
“Construction alone will create 6,000 jobs, and it’s estimated the tunnel will create $45 billion of new economic activity that will benefit New Jersey residents for decades.
“A responsible leader who is willing to make tough decisions does not abandon this project.
“This tunnel project is clearly a complicated and expensive issue. No one said it would be easy. Projects like this are rarely undertaken for a reason, but leaders get the job done.
“Gov. Christie has forsaken his duties as governor by walking away from this project. Real leadership would mean working with everyone involved to restructure it, find a responsible way to pay for it and get it done. Sulking and taking your ball and going home because the issue is difficult and didn’t go as planned should never be an option for a governor.
“It remains critical that this project moves forward.”