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Deal Paves the Way for Construction of Main-Bergen Connection

CONTACT: Michael Klufas at NJ TRANSIT (973-491-7078)

CONTACT: Lynn Fleeger at NJ Turnpike Authority (732-247-0900, ext. 5601)

NEWARK, NJ, July 11, 2001 -- NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and Allied Junction Corporation today finalized a joint development agreement that will lead to the construction of NJ TRANSIT's Main-Bergen Connection serving the Secaucus Transfer Station, a New Jersey Turnpike Interchange between Interchanges 15E and 16E on the Eastern Spur, and a potential office complex at the Secaucus Transfer Station site that would consist of 3.5 million square feet of office space and a hotel.

The $140 million reimbursement agreement -- one of the largest public-private partnership agreements in United States history -- allows NJ TRANSIT to accelerate construction of the Main-Bergen Connection and a grade crossing separation project on New County Road, while the NJTA constructs the Seaview Drive Extension and thus permits completion of the new interchange in Secaucus. The NJTA will advance $84 million and be reimbursed as the commercial development progresses by Allied Junction Corporation, an agent of the George W. Newman Irrevocable Trust and partial owners of the land where Secaucus Transfer Station is being built.

"This agreement paves the way for improved transportation options throughout the region," said James Weinstein, State Transportation Commissioner, NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and a member of the NJTA Board of Commissioners. "The Main-Bergen Connection will ease transfers for rail commuters at the Secaucus Transfer Station, while the New Jersey Turnpike interchange will significantly enhance vehicular access to a new office complex to be constructed above the rail station, as well as provide another entrance to the surrounding business district with improved traffic flow."

The $140 million in infrastructure reimbursements to be paid by Allied Junction consist of:

  • Additional NJ TRANSIT construction costs on Secaucus Transfer Station. This includes strengthened station foundations required to support planned office buildings above the station.
  • Construction of the Main-Bergen Connection.
  • Construction of the Seaview Drive extension, which will connect to the new Turnpike interchange.
  • Construction of the New County Road overpass over Main and Bergen line tracks near Secaucus Transfer Station.

"The New Jersey Turnpike is a important component of the state's commerce and transportation networks," said NJTA Board Chairman Francis X. McDermott. "This agreement allows the Turnpike Authority to advance a critical highway link to increase the flow of traffic into the Meadowlands District while supporting Allied Junction's progress with plans to construct an office complex above Secaucus Transfer Station."

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will construct a new interchange and extend Seaview Drive. This extension will follow construction of NJ TRANSIT's Main-Bergen Connection, which will allow NJ TRANSIT to vacate a section of the Bergen County Line just east of the HX Drawbridge in Secaucus. The Seaview Drive extension will run along this vacated right-of-way. The George W. Newman Irrevocable Trust will also transfer permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers allowing construction of the Main-Bergen Connection to NJ TRANSIT. This action will allow NJ TRANSIT to expedite construction of the connection.

"The Main-Bergen Connection is a critical component of the successful launch of the Secaucus Transfer Station," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh. "Today's historic agreement allows us to accelerate construction of the connection, easing connections at Secaucus Transfer for rail passengers transferring to trains serving northern and central New Jersey."

By moving ahead with construction on the Main-Bergen Connection, NJ TRANSIT will avoid construction of temporary platforms to serve current Bergen County Line service at Secaucus Transfer Station, which would have cost $11 million. Construction on the Main-Bergen Connection is expected to begin in August and last approximately 16 months.

NJ TRANSIT also will construct an interlocking on the Main Line where trains can move from one track to another at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The new interlocking will be constructed after the connection is completed. A third component of the project will allow the Main Line to be expanded to four tracks from the Main-Bergen Connection until it meets the Morris & Essex Lines near the Bergen Tunnel, a distance of approximately 2.2 miles.

In addition to approval of the joint development agreement, NJ TRANSIT's Board of Directors today awarded a $27.7 million contract to Railroad Construction Company, Inc. of Paterson for the Main-Bergen Connection project. The 4,500-foot connection will reroute Bergen County and Pascack Valley line trains to the Main Line just west of the Secaucus Transfer Station. In addition, two new tracks will also be built along the Main Line through Secaucus Transfer Station.