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Project Supports Enhanced Safety on Rail System

NEWARK, NJ, OCTOBER 9, 2002 – In an effort to provide improved accessibility and safety to its rail system, the NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors today approved a project that will deliver pedestrian improvements at South Amboy Train Station, which serves 1,200 daily commuters.

The Board authorized that a contract be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for accessibility upgrades at the train station. The Board also awarded $227,314 to Vollmer and Associates of New York to provide construction assistance for the project

The first phase of improvements will consist of a new 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 will be accessible by stairs or elevators on each side of the tracks, allowing pedestrians to avoid the existing pedestrian crossing at Augusta Street.

"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 Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-19), 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 Amboy's downtown. We appreciate the support."

“Today’s action is an important step in ensuring that NJ TRANSIT passengers that use the South Amboy Train Station may do so safely,” said Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. “This Administration is committed to making New Jersey’s mass transit system safe and accessible. These improvements are proof of what we can accomplish by working together on the State and local level and putting our customers first.”

“NJ TRANSIT has already completed a number of safety improvements at South Amboy Train Station that include replacing existing pedestrian warning signs with larger ones and installing flashing and audible safety alerts at the Augusta Street crossing to help pedestrians know when a train is approaching,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. “We continue to be vigilant in spreading our safety message to the public by distributing safety information to communities, local business and schools. Our comprehensive rail safety program continues to reach approximately 35,000 students a year throughout the state. In addition, we have a team focusing on safety awareness where new services are being implemented,” he said.

In May, Board Chairman Fox, joined by Warrington, Assemblyman Wisniewski and a host of dignitaries, announced a series of multi-phased safety and accessibility improvements to be made at the rail station that included the pedestrian overpass and the transit plaza.

As part of the project, NJ TRANSIT will incorporate its transit arts program into the plaza and overpass work – with two artists collaborating in the effort. The plans include colorful stair risers reflecting South Amboy’s connection to water transportation and industry, a sculpture to be placed on the face of the overpass building representing South Amboy at work and at play and a mural of the Beds Lighthouse that formerly sat on the Raritan Bay waterfront in South Amboy. Five images will radiate from the lighthouse:

  • A baseball player honoring six South Amboy natives who made it to the major leagues and the community’s love of the game.
  • The sailing schooner The American, signifying South Amboy’s love for recreational boating on the bay.
  • A bottle kiln, which represents the region’s historical ties to the tile and brick industries.
  • The John Bull locomotive, which hauled coal and timber through the region.
  • A construction worker building a gazebo on the Raritan Bay waterfront.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 160 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.