SECAUCUS, NJ, May 20, 2002 -- For the second time in a month, a new vehicular and pedestrian bridge opened in Hudson County, spanning Routes 1&9 and adjacent freight railroad tracks in one of the most densely populated regions of the state.
With the snip of a ribbon, New Jersey U.S. Congressman Robert Menendez, New Jersey U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman and State Senator Nicholas Sacco joined NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation in grand opening ceremonies for the new Secaucus Road interchange in Secaucus. The $45 million project -- funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund -- was constructed to support NJ TRANSIT's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system.
"This project is one of many transportation initiatives being planned in the most densely populated area of New Jersey," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. "Thanks to the support of Governor McGreevey, Congressman Menendez, Congressman Rothman, Senator Sacco and others, this project will help to relieve traffic congestion, encourage the use of mass transit and increase the state's economic viability."
"As the senior New Jersey lawmaker on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, ensuring that New Jersey is at the cutting edge of safe and efficient transportation options is one of my top priorities," said Congressman Menendez. "The completion of the Secaucus Road Grade Separation Bridge not only provides a safe route for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, it also continues to pave the way for the next phase of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail -- a project that will continue the New Jersey tradition of premier transportation systems."
"Today's bridge opening eliminates traffic tie-ups, frees up room for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and gives a great boost to the region's economy and quality of life," said Congressman Rothman, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
"As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, my colleagues and I have worked very hard to secure the funds for the Secaucus Road and Paterson Plank Road projects," said Senator Sacco. "With the recent opening of the Paterson Plank Road overpass and now the Secaucus Road overpass, we have paved the way to greatly improve access for residents, commuters and businesses. This is another step we have taken toward easing traffic congestion and improving development opportunities for businesses."
"This is one of the most congested intersections in the State of New Jersey, where two major roads -- Route 1&9 and Secaucus Road -- converge on a very active freight railroad," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. "Projects like this will help to relieve a significant traffic bottleneck, enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety and give us access to the River Line for future expansion of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail."
The project that opened today allows Secaucus Road vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross above Routes 1&9 and the adjacent Northern Branch freight railroad tracks. Similar to the recently opened Paterson Plank Road bridge in North Bergen, the Secaucus Road bridge will give Hudson-Bergen Light Rail cars exclusive operating rights on the River Line as all freight railroad traffic in the area moves from the River Line to the Northern Branch this summer. NJ TRANSIT is scheduled to begin operating Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service over the River Line between Hoboken and Weehawken in 2004.
NJ TRANSIT's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system opened in April 2000. It currently operates between 34th Street in Bayonne and West Side Avenue in Jersey City to Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, carrying an average nearly 12,000 average weekday passenger trips. The final phase of Minimum Operating Segment One (MOS-1) -- between Newport and Hoboken Terminal -- is scheduled to open this fall. MOS-2 will open in the following stages:
Between 34th Street and 22nd Street in Bayonne -- 2003.
Between Hoboken Terminal and the Weehawken Ferry Terminal -- 2004.
Between Weehawken and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen -- 2005.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.