Two weeks ago, I helped dedicate the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which bypasses the narrow, two-lane road atop the Hoover Dam. It is a marvel of engineering, the longest bridge of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and it rests on the tallest precast concrete columns ever fashioned.
Staring up at this monument to human ingenuity, almost 1,000 feet off the ground, I could not help but feel inspired. This bridge is more than the cement and steel that ties Nevada to Arizona. It is a symbol of a great nation that does great things.
In America, we pride ourselves on dreaming big and building big. We invest for the future, not just in spite of challenges, but as the means of overcoming them. After all, we constructed the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge during the worst depression of our history. And we planned and paved America’s state-of-the-art interstate highway system in the aftermath of World War II.
Against the backdrop of these enduring legacies, Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to terminate America’s largest transportation project was particularly disappointing. Unfortunately, his choice comes with profound consequences for New Jersey, the New York metropolitan region and our nation as a whole.
Tens of thousands of jobs that the tunnel would have created will be lost. Future New Jerseyans will face shrinking property values, suffocating road traffic, interminable train delays and increasing air pollution. A $3.358 billion federal investment in the region’s economic future will move elsewhere.