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and Manhattan. His reason was that the state could not afford its share of the cost of building and operating the tunnel. The story goes that the federal govern-


ment sent New Jersey a bill for $271 million to cover the $600 million cost of engineering, environmental work, and some early con- struction. The tunnel’s expected cost was $8.7 billion, and New Jersey’s share was $2.7 billion. The feds and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had committed to paying $3 billion each, with the state and the Port Authority expected to cover cost overruns. This halt may be for the best, because the termination point in Manhattan left much to be desired as originally planned. The gov- ernor is not thrilled about paying back the federal government the money it wants. Thanks to Nat Baer and David Harris for


the news.


Streetcars in Northern Virginia Columbia Pike, a very busy major highway and east-west artery in northern Virginia, may become a showcase for streetcar ser- vice; streetcars may be coming to Arlington and Fairfax counties by 2020. According to early planning, the line would start in the Skyline area of Bailey’s Crossroads in Fair- fax County, and then proceed along Colum- bia Pike and past Four Mile Run, pass through Columbia Heights, and go on to Pentagon City to a connection with the Washington Metrorail rail transit system. The cost is estimated at $160 million. The streetcar line may be expanded as time


goes on. Proponents hope that the project will earn a grant from the Federal Transit Ad- ministration. Let’s wish everyone well on this


TWO PHOTOS: MICHAEL T. BURKHART


From Then to Now, To There and Back


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Houston MetroRail’s Green Line extension is under construction at Harrisburg Road and Milby Street (above), a 3.3 mile extension scheduled to open in 2014 that will run past Minute Maid Park and the Magnolia Transit Center. MetroRail opened in 2004 and runs 7.5 miles through the heart of Houston’s business district. Several expansions are on the drawing board that will greatly expand the system. Construction is under way on three segments that total about 15 miles and planning is under way on about 16 additional miles. The line runs with 19 Siemens articulated streetcars such as No. 114 pausing at the Bell Station at Main and Clay Streets in downtown Houston on January 22, 2012 (below); an additional 39 cars are on order from CAF to meet future demands.


Vol. 1-Northern N.E.


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