TRENTON - (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie says an offer to creditNew Jersey $128 million of the $271 million the federal governmentsays it's owed for an abandoned rail tunnel project is "a goodstart."

Christie said Thursday he hasn't heard directly from U.S.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on reducing the tab for theHudson River tunnel he killed in October.

The Associated Press obtained from Sen. Frank LautenbergWednesday a copy of a letter in which LaHood offers to credit NewJersey nearly half the money the state owes - but only if it repaysthe entire amount first.

Christie says he'd be happy to discuss it personally withLaHood.

Christie recently OK'd hiring a Washington law firm to fight thetunnel tab.

The governor spiked the $8.7 billion project over potential costoverruns.

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