NJ Transit Board Advances Resilience and Improved Infrastructure

The New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) Board of Directors has approved contracts that will advance the rehabilitation of a rail tunnel that will be key to restoring service in Sussex County, as well as early work on a proposed resilience aimed at keeping rail cars dry during extreme weather events. .

The two contracts represent a combined investment of $38.4 million. Union Paving was awarded a $6.1 million contract for the first phase of construction of Delco’s Lead Storage and Inspection Facility Project and County Yard Improvement Project. Schiavone Construction Co., LLC has been awarded a $32.4 million contract for the final design, construction and commissioning of the Roseville Tunnel Rehabilitation Project.

Roseville Tunnel

The tunnel is described by NJ Transit as a crucial element in its plans to restore rail service in Sussex County from Port Morris to a proposed new station in Andover as part of the Lackawanna Cutoff Restoration Project, which will see also the replacement of about seven miles. of track.

“It has long been NJ Transit’s promise to the people of Sussex County to restore service along the Lackawanna Cut,” said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit President. Board. “The contract awarded for the Roseville Tunnel Rehabilitation demonstrates this administration’s commitment to turning words into actions and providing accessible transit options and services to customers across the state.”

The Lackawanna Cutoff was opened in December 1911 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. Passenger trains ceased to use the route in the 1960s (before NJ Transit was established), but the line remained in use by the Conrail freight railroad until it was abandoned and the tracks were removed in 1984.

The Roseville Tunnel, which is a 1,000 foot long rock tunnel near Roseville Road and Byram Township, will be rehabilitated under the contract, including stabilization of rock slopes, construction of 8,000 feet of track bedding, drainage, lighting and communication improvements for the tunnel and replacement of two culverts and other related works.

“The contract awarded for the rehabilitation of the Roseville Tunnel demonstrates NJ Transit’s commitment to the residents of Sussex County in restoring rail service along the Lackawanna Cut,” said Kevin S. Corbett, President and CEO. from the management of NJ Transit. “As we strive to maximize equitable access to public transit throughout New Jersey, I am thrilled that we are advancing this important project in the northwest part of our state, where public transit options are more limited.

The Lackawanna Cut restoration project from Port Morris to Andover is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

Delco Main Project

The Delco Lead project is one of the agency’s resiliency projects that will invest in the design and expansion of an area identified after Super Hurricane Sandy as an ideal location to protect railcars and equipment from weather events. extreme conditions, as well as to speed up their return to service.

The preliminary works contract for the Delco Lead project includes site preparation for the subsequent construction phase of the service yard, inspection facility, Delco Lead and the remaining elements of the yard improvement project County.

“NJ Transit is committed to providing reliable service to the thousands of customers who depend on it,” Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “This project provides the resiliency needed to ensure that reliability.”

The project, which NJ Transit says is strategically located along the Northeast Corridor, will be a storage area for NJ Transit railroad equipment in the event the Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny, NJ, and the yard at Morrisville, Penn., are being evacuated.

The four-mile-long County Yard and Delco Lead sits above the floodplain with relatively few adjacent trees, making it an ideal refuge for wagons and locomotives. The service and inspection facility will allow rail equipment to be inspected and returned to service following extreme weather conditions.

Corbett added: “As climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of weather events in our region, this project will mean better, more reliable and more resilient service for our customers. The Delco Lead project will improve service continuity by allowing us to quickly restore service even after the most severe weather impacts.

NJ Transit says the early action phase of the Delco Lead project is expected to be completed by late summer 2023.

Melvin Z. Madore