Tunnel vision

tunnelOfficials broke ground in North Bergen today on an $8.7 billion rail tunnel that will double the number of commuters shuttled under the Hudson.

One of the biggest transportation projects in the entire U.S., the nine-mile Mass Transit (aka ARC) Tunnel is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Officials say the project — connecting Kearny to 34th Street — will create nearly 50,000 jobs by the time it’s done.

“This is an incredible project,” said Gov. Jon Corzine, who was accompanied by both New Jersey senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, and local officials including North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.

“In today’s economic recession, it has the added value of creating 6,000 new jobs day in and day out for the next six or seven years,” Corzine added.

The federal government has committed $3 billion to the project, with the rest of the funding split between the state and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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