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Safety enhanced for residents and NJ TRANSIT customers

March 11, 2005

NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, State Assemblyman John Wisniewski, and South Amboy Mayor Jack O’Leary joined NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington today to celebrate the opening of South Amboy’s new pedestrian overpass and plaza.

The new overpass was constructed to enhance the safety of people walking across the Augusta Street rail crossing on the North Jersey Coast Line. NJ TRANSIT has already completed a number of safety improvements at the crossing, including the installation of larger pedestrian warning signs, and flashing and audible safety alerts to warn of approaching trains.

"The transportation hub here at South Amboy has dramatically relieved congestion in Central Jersey, and the improvements that we've made recently have made it more appealing to area residents," said Congressman Pallone. "We're also ready to move ahead with the second phase, and yesterday the House approved $8 million in federal funds to complete several safety and accessibility improvements here at the station."

"This pedestrian overpass and this plaza will increase safety at the South Amboy Train Station," said Assemblyman Wisniewski, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “Ensuring the safety of the thousands of riders at this station is my first priority. This project would not have been possible without the $3.8 million in Transportation Trust Fund money. Unless we work to restore the trust fund to its full vitality, safety improvement projects like this in the future will be in jeopardy. The Trust Fund must be maintained so that future projects can be completed and safety can remain a top priority."

“I want to thank Congressman Pallone and Assemblyman Wisniewski for securing the funding that was used to build the South Amboy pedestrian overpass and plaza. Without their efforts, this may not have been possible,” said Executive Director Warrington. “The construction of the pedestrian overpass continues our commitment to make safety a priority, not only for our commuters who access our system, but also for South Amboy residents.”

“The opening of the overpass provides the residents of our community, as well as the commuters, safe access to the rail station,” said Mayor O’Leary. “I want to thank NJ TRANSIT, DOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere, Congressman Frank Pallone, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and the entire legislative delegation for their commitment to the City of South Amboy and its residents.”

The $4.8 million construction project, made possible by funds secured by Congressman Pallone and Assemblyman Wisniewski, consists of a 16-foot wide pedestrian overpass with two elevators linking the existing parking lot on the Newark/New York-bound tracks with a new transit plaza on the Long Branch/Bay Head side of the tracks. The overpass is accessible by stairs or elevators on each side of the tracks, enabling pedestrians to avoid the grade crossing at Augusta Street.

For an extra measure of safety, the Department of Transportation is working with the City of South Amboy to close the Augusta Street crossing, and extend O’Leary Boulevard east across the tracks to Broadway. This work is expected to be completed this summer.

The overpass and plaza is just the first phase of a comprehensive improvement plan for the South Amboy rail station. The second phase will include a new station building and high-level platforms. NJ TRANSIT is completing conceptual design of the station and plans to begin the second phase in 2006, thanks in part to funding that was secured by Congressman Pallone and Assemblyman Wisniewski.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily 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 162 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.