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NEWARK, NJ, May 28, 2002 -- Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jamie Fox today joined Senator Joseph F. Vitale, Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John S. Wisniewski, South Amboy Mayor Jack O'Leary and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington to announce a multi-phased safety improvement program at South Amboy Rail Station.

After discussions with Senator Vitale, Assemblyman Wisniewski and Mayor O'Leary earlier this month, Executive Director Warrington committed to implementing immediate and long-term safety measures at the station to ease their concern about the safety of the 1,200 customers who use the station daily, in addition to the local residents and visitors who walk around the station.

"Governor McGreevey is committed to fixing things first in the State following years and years of talk and no action. Constructing a new and more convenient pedestrian overpass has always been in the plans for South Amboy Station, but had no funding. Well, dedicated funding is in place, and a new walkway is right around the corner," said Fox.

"These improvements are necessary to ensure the safety and well being of South Amboy residents and commuters," said Senator Vitale. "The creation of a pedestrian walkway will make the crossing less dangerous and more convenient for both residents and commuters. As South Amboy continues to build their transportation hub, improvements like these will help to prevent tragedies in the future."

"I am gratified that NJ TRANSIT and the Department of Transportation have located the resources to fund this much needed and long awaited pedestrian safety project in the City of South Amboy," said Wisniewski, who is Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. "Commissioner Fox and Executive Director Warrington recognized the need for this investment which will not only save lives but also further enhance the value of South Amboys downtown. We appreciate the support."

"It's time to get back to basics and reinforce our commitment to safety. Today's announcement validates our pledge to our customers to do everything possible to ensure their safety while using our services," said Warrington.

The multi-phased safety program includes:

  • Replacing existing pedestrian warning signs at the ends of the inter-track fence at Augusta Street with larger signs containing a message warning pedestrians not to cross the tracks when the gates are down because trains can arrive from both directions. (A total of four warning signs have been installed as promised.)
  • Installing a combined flashing and audible safety alert adjacent to the existing building located at the northwest quadrant of the Augusta Street crossing where pedestrian and vehicle sight distance is limited. The safety alert will be activated by a train traveling southbound well in advance of the train crossing Augusta Street. Taking into account the review process, procurement of materials and installation work, this work will be completed no later than September 30, 2002.
  • Immediately advancing NJ TRANSIT's 90 percent design plans for a new pedestrian crossing north of Augusta Street and awarding a construction contract this fall. Construction is anticipated to take 14 months and cost approximately $6.2 million. The project will also include two new elevators, stairs, a pedestrian plaza and high-level platforms.
  • NJ TRANSIT will build a new at-grade rail crossing approximately 1/2 mile south of Augusta Street at Stevens Avenue in South Amboy, as requested by Mayor O'Leary. Opening the new at-grade crossing will coincide with the completion of the new pedestrian overpass and the closing of the Augusta Street at-grade crossing, as well as completion of the City of South Amboy's roadwork that connects to the new at-grade crossing.

On May 6, a 32-year-old Brooklyn woman was killed after walking around lowered crossing gates to catch a New York--bound train when she was struck by a train traveling in the opposite direction. While all safety systems were working correctly at the crossing, NJ TRANSIT has agreed to implement the additional safety measures to help prevent future incidents.

In addition, NJ TRANSIT reminds people to be safe while walking and driving near the railroad and obey warning devices when activated.

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.

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