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NJ TRANSIT TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING ON BAY HEAD YARD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Work Would Modernize Rail Operations at Support Facility
NEWARK, NJ, April 23, 2002 -- NJ TRANSIT will host a public hearing Wednesday, May 1, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Church of St. Bonaventure in Lavellette, NJ, to receive public comment on the Corporation's Environmental Assessment of the proposed Bay Head rail yard improvement project.
NJ TRANSIT is seeking to advance a plan to upgrade the fueling, light maintenance and storage operations at the existing Bay Head yard -- which was originally constructed in 1872 -- to comply with new Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations and to help address community concerns including noise, lighting and diesel fumes.
Bay Head yard serves seven NJ TRANSIT trains operating on the North Jersey Coast Line between Bay Head and Long Branch, Newark and/or Hoboken. The North Jersey Coast Line serves more than 16,000 daily riders.
Presentations will be made by NJ TRANSIT staff at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to provide an overview of the planned improvements and their environmental impacts. The balance of the time will be dedicated to receiving public comments. Each speaker will be allowed five minutes to speak, with all information gathered during the hearing being forwarded to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for review. All comments and information will become part of the public hearing record.
The Bay Head Yard Improvement Project includes:
Installation of wayside power and ground air systems. Wayside power will provide a source of power to rail coach car equipment -- other than an idling diesel engine -- allowing the locomotive's auxiliary engine to be shut off during night time hours (except during extremely cold weather). The ground air system will supply braking air for the trains so the main engines that drive the locomotive's air compressor can be shut off at night.
A new electrical substation will be installed to provide the power necessary to operate all of the proposed yard improvements in addition to reserve capacity for the future installation of electric switch heaters in the yard. Electric switch heaters reduce the need to use manual labor to clear switches of snow and ice.
Construction of a new fueling canopy spanning nine tracks in the existing yard. All fueling, lubrication and other light maintenance activities would be performed beneath this canopy, containing fueling operations. This will eliminate the need to move trains to the existing fueling facility during the night and provide employees with a sheltered work area during inclement weather. At the request of the local community, the appearance of the canopy has been modified to reflect the architecture of the community.
Construction of an existing track into a 950-foot long inspection track, allowing NJ TRANSIT to comply with more frequent inspection and servicing of new train disc braking systems required by FRA regulations.
Installation of a new recirculating hot water system to make hot water available for cleaning the interior of the rail cars.
Installation of a new cold water yard hydrant to resupply lavatories and engine cooling systems.
New yard lighting will be installed to replace existing lighting structures, reducing light impacts on neighboring homes and enhancing employee safety. The lighting component of the yard has also been modified at the request of local residents.
Copies of the Environmental Assessment for the project are available for review at the following locations:
Bay Head municipal building, 81 Bridge Avenue, Bay Head, NJ
Bay Head Reading Center, 136 Meadow Avenue, Bay Head, NJ
Toms River Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ
NJ TRANSIT Headquarters, One Penn Plaza, Newark, NJ
Church of St. Bonaventure is located on Grand Central Avenue (Route 35 North) in Lavallette. Individuals requesting sign language interpreters should call (973) 491-7022 no later than April 24.
For those unable to attend the public hearing, written comments may be sent to:
Corporate Affairs Department
One Penn Plaza East
Newark, NJ 07105
All written comments must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2002.