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Officials break ground on project to link two rail lines

October 19, 2009

PENNSAUKEN, NJ — NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles joined U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Rob Andrews and other officials today to break ground on a project that will offer convenience and new travel options to South Jersey rail customers by directly linking the River Line with the Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL).



The $40 million Pennsauken Transit Center, accelerated with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, will create or sustain hundreds of jobs and will for the first time provide thousands of customers with direct transfers and access to all stations on both lines.


“New Jersey is building toward renewed economic strength and improved transit connections in southern New Jersey,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine.  “When our nation’s economy was teetering, we intervened with an economic stimulus package that is creating jobs and putting paychecks into the hands of hard-working New Jersey residents.”  


“This groundbreaking is just one more example of how the Recovery Act is creating jobs and expanding mass transportation across the state,” stated Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.  “The Pennsauken Transit Center will help connect New Jersey’s railways and make our transportation network more efficient.” 


“This center is another example of what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is doing to rebuild our infrastructure, stimulate the economy, create jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic security," said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez.  “It truly connects the dots – an intermodal system that will connect the 34,000 people of Pennsauken to NJ TRANSIT’s River LINE light rail service. That’s smart growth that will make our communities more livable and our transportation systems more efficient.”


“The construction of the new Pennsauken Rail Center is another great example of how South Jersey is continuing to benefit from the Stimulus bill’s near $365 million investment in our region,” said Congressman Robert Andrews.  “While our economic recovery will not occur overnight, the President’s plan to overhaul our country's transportation system has begun to set the course for economic prosperity by creating hundreds of local jobs while promoting cleaner, more efficient travel throughout our neighborhoods.” 


The transit center will be built in two phases along Derousse Avenue where the ACRL crosses above River Line tracks. 


“Thanks to Governor Corzine and our congressional delegation, New Jersey has the funding to create well-paying jobs at a critical point in our state’s path to economic recovery,” said Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts.  “The jobs created here will help New Jersey working men and women support their families while building a lasting asset that will benefit South Jersey residents and visitors for decades to come.”


Upon project completion at the end of 2012, Atlantic City Rail Line customers will have direct access to the River Line, with connections in Camden to PATCO rail and NJ TRANSIT bus service to Philadelphia, and in Trenton to NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor service to New York.


River Line customers will have direct access to Atlantic City, Philadelphia and all intermediate ACRL stations.


“The Pennsauken Transit Center will be a terrific asset for our residents and employers because it will promote greater use of environmentally friendly public transportation for leisure and work-related travel,” said Pennsauken Mayor Bill Orth.


“This new transit center epitomizes our focus on expanding the reach of our transportation network through intermodal transit hubs,” Sarles said.  “We are connecting light rail service that operates between Camden and Trenton with commuter rail service that carries customers between Atlantic City and Philadelphia, producing convenient access to all stations to customers of both lines.”


Today’s ground breaking represents the start of the first phase of the project, a  $2.1 million contract awarded to Northeast Remsco Coast, Inc., of Farmingdale NJ, with ARORA and Associates, PC, of Lawrenceville, NJ providing design services under the contract.


Phase I covers River Line elements of the project, including construction of a 200-foot platform with 60-foot canopy for customers boarding light rail trains.  The contract also includes installation of infrastructure and conduit for communications, security and ticket vending machines, grading, drainage, lighting and public art.


In Phase II, two 300-foot-long, high-level platforms will be built on either side of the ACRL tracks.  Stairs and two elevators will be constructed to provide access to customers with disabilities.


The second phase also includes construction of a 280-space parking lot, installation of passenger communications, ticket vending machines as well as resurfacing, curbing and lighting improvements to Derousse Avenue.


The transit center will be operational upon completion of Phase II, which will be built under a construction contract awarded in early 2011.


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 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.