Gov. Christie says Port Authority's dysfunction will be changed

The agency building the new World Trade Center has let costs get out of control, with the estimated price tag soaring nearly $4 billion over

SAYREVILLE - The agency building the new World Trade Center has let costs get out of control, with the estimated price tag soaring nearly $4 billion over the last four years, auditors said yesterday.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the review of the World Trade Center site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, after the agency's board voted to raise bridge and tunnel tolls in August.

Navigant Consulting called the Port Authority "a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a soiled underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program that has obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure to the Port Authority."

Christie says that this was a problem years in the making, but no one's hands are clean. He also says he is "going to be held accountable in the end for what happens over there, but we are now turning the page on this chapter of the Port Authority's dysfunction and ineffectiveness and we're going to change it."

The Port Authority's new director, Patrick Foye, said Tuesday the agency was taking the auditing firm's recommendations seriously and would begin an overhaul of its structure.

The audit being conducted now is the first stage. The second stage, which focuses on capitol projects, will likely be finished in June. Democrats in the state legislature are already calling for the Authority to roll back its toll increase.Tolls increase on Port Authority bridges, tunnels

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