Democratic leaders assail Gov. Christie on tunnel stoppage

NORTH BERGEN - New Jersey's Democratic legislators are criticizing Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) for halting new work on an $8.7 billion rail tunnel into New York.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both Democrats, joined other lawmakers at a construction site just outside the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen today to urge the governor to lift his 30-day hold on the massive project.

Christie halted the work over concerns that the project will cost even more and force New Jersey to come up with the extra money.

The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey each have pledged $3 billion for the project, and New Jersey is responsible for $2.7 billion.

Menendez said Christie has always known the project's cost, but has inexplicably reversed course after initially supporting it.

State lawmakers say New Jersey can't afford to lose 6,000 construction jobs and long-term financial benefits from the trans-Hudson tunnel.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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