Tunnel tanked, but toll payments continue in New Jersey

| 9/12/2011

In 2008, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority committed to paying $1.25 billion in future toll revenue to the state treasury to help finance a commuter rail tunnel connecting to New York City. Even though Gov. Chris Christie canceled the tunnel project earlier this year, those payments and more will go on as planned.

The Turnpike Authority’s board of commissioners voted on Wednesday, Sept. 7, to pay $229 million to the state in 2012 and $324 million each year for the next four years, for a grand total of $1.53 billion. The payments are part of Christie’s five-year capital plan and are based on toll increases in 2008.

According to a memorandum issued by the Turnpike Authority, each of the $334 million payments will consist of $129 million to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for its Feeder Road Maintenance Agreement and $195 million to the state treasury from the canceled tunnel project known as Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC.

The Turnpike Authority has already been paying into NJDOT’s Feeder Road Maintenance Agreement to the tune of $100 million in 2010 and $100 million in 2011.