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NJ TRANSIT'S FIRST FEDERAL STIMULUS RAIL PROJECT GETS UNDER WAY
Officials break ground for new Edison Station parking lot
May 29, 2009
NEWARK, NJ — Commuters who have been waiting for a parking space at Edison Station got closer to their goal today with a groundbreaking ceremony for a project that will more than double parking capacity at the busy Northeast Corridor station and accommodate every customer currently on the waiting list.
The groundbreaking marks the first NJ TRANSIT rail project to make use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds that will create jobs while improving or expanding New Jersey’s statewide public transportation network.
“Stimulus projects like Edison Station are providing New Jersey with much needed infrastructure improvements at a very crucial time,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. ”This is exactly the type of project that helps to create jobs for our citizens while encouraging economic growth in our state.”
“In New Jersey, mass transit is a necessity. Our highways are the most congested in the country and our workers have the third-longest average commute times. We have an obligation to give New Jerseyans more transportation options and, with the completion of this new park-and-ride facility, we can help reduce congestion, fuel emissions and travel times for commuters and improve our air quality,” said New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg.
"This project embodies the goals we had in mind with the economic recovery package, and it is a fitting first recovery package rail project,” said New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. “On one hand, this project will create jobs immediately. On the other hand, it lays the foundation for future economic security by encouraging the use of mass transit, which helps reduce family energy costs, saves commuters time and money and cleans our air. I'm proud to have helped secure the federal investment in projects like this, which will help us recovery from this economic crisis."
"Edison Station is one of the busiest stations in the NJ TRANSIT system, benefiting thousands of New Jersey residents every day," said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. "This new parking facility will help even more commuters avoid congested roadways and is a great use of Recovery Act funds because it will improve our infrastructure and create over 100 quality jobs."
As the result of the hard work of Gov. Corzine and the state congressional delegation, especially Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, New Jersey expects to receive $17.5 billion in ARRA funds over the next three years, including about $7.3 billion to residents and businesses in the form of federal tax cuts. Combined with the state’s share of another $240 billion in tax benefits and competitive grants nationwide, the White House expects 100,000 jobs will be created or preserved in New Jersey over two years.
“New Jersey residents need look no further than this work site to see that federal stimulus funding is already having a positive impact on our economy,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts. “This project is one of 15
NJ TRANSIT projects worth more than $420 million that have been accelerated and will start this year.”
An estimated 121 jobs will be directly or indirectly created by the project.
"This parking expansion is a solution to an issue for our residents. Our community greatly benefits from the proximity of passenger rail service, and this project will allow even more residents to take advantage of this asset," said Edison Mayor Jun Choi. "I am very happy for all the residents whose wait for a parking space will soon be over."
“It’s no accident that a project that builds parking capacity is among the first that NJ TRANSIT is getting started with federal stimulus funds,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. “The availability of parking helps define the convenience and attractiveness of a public transit system, which is why we’ve added about 14,500 spaces to our inventory since 2002.”
The NJ TRANSIT Board last month awarded a $4.7 million construction contract to Petillo Inc. of Flanders, New Jersey, to build the lot and make other improvements.
The lot, along with new lighting and sidewalks, will be built adjacent to the outbound platform with access from Kilmer Road. A traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Kilmer Road and the entrance road to the new lot.
The project also includes repaving and reconfiguring one of two existing lots on the inbound side of the tracks to optimize capacity and improve traffic flow, and creating a public space south of the station building.
Current parking capacity at Edison is 362 spaces. After the new lot is opened and the existing lot is reconfigured, the station will feature 816 spaces – more than double the current inventory. There are currently about 370 names on a waiting list for parking at Edison.
NJ TRANSIT will own the new lot and will seek bids for an operator. Park America operates the existing two lots, one of which NJ TRANSIT owns with the other jointly owned by NJ TRANSIT and Edison Township.
The project is expected to be completed in early 2010.
Edison Station is the 13th busiest of the164 stations and terminals served by
NJ TRANSIT, serving nearly 7,000 customers each weekday with direct service to Newark, Secaucus Junction and Penn Station New York, among other destinations.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.