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Historical Elements, Station Modernization Work Included

NEWARK, NJ, May 15, 2002 -- NJ TRANSIT's Board of Directors today authorized a contract for the renovation and historic restoration of Madison Station on the Corporation's Morristown Line.

The $2.3 million contract requires Watertrol, Inc. of Cranford to restore the historic station building, add a bathroom facility that meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and enhance spaces for commercial vendors.

"This project helps to preserve history and delivers an improved facility for the more than 1,400 riders who travel through the station each day," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. "This project builds on improvements started by the citizens of Madison to return a local historic jewel to its early 20th century grandeur. It is also part of the commitment made by Governor McGreevey to improve the quality of the commute for all NJ TRANSIT riders."

"The rehabilitation and restoration of Madison Station will bring long-term benefits for our riders and the community," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "Thanks to the support of Governor McGreevey and the Board of Directors, we are also preserving a piece of New Jersey transportation history."

Madison Station was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in 1916. The station renovations will include restoration of retail space -- which currently houses a newsstand and taxi service -- roof repairs, concrete restoration of the exterior of the building, improved platforms and walkways. The project is being funded by the State Transportation Trust Fund.

The project supports a local effort that dedicated a brick walkway in November 2000, linking the station with the Borough's municipal building and its business district. The "Friends of Madison Station" -- a citizens' group dedicated to enhancing the rail station and its surroundings -- raised $100,000 to construct the brick walkway.

Madison's railroad history dates back to the first half of the 19th century. Two books about New Jersey railroading history note that Judge F. S. Lathrop, a wealthy resident of Madison, paid $100 for a six-month commutation pass from Madison to Newark in 1841, making him one of the first -- if not the first -- Garden State commuters. In Newark, Lathrop would transfer to a Jersey City-bound train on the New Jersey Railroad -- a predecessor to Amtrak's Northeast Corridor -- and complete his trip by taking a ferry to Manhattan.

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.