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NJ Transit extends light-rail operating contract, approves rehabilitation projects


At a meeting held yesterday, New Jersey Transit’s board green lighted several projects and approved an operating contract amendment for the Hudson-Bergen light-rail system.

The agency will extend the operating and maintenance portion of its contract with Hudson-Bergen operator 21st Century Rail Corp. for five years. The company will operate and maintain the system through 2020; NJ Transit will provide security and utilities. Agency officials expect the new contract to reduce costs between $5 million and $35 million annually.

NJ Transit also let a $1.4 million contract to rehabilitate the Beach Thorofare Waterway Drawbridge on the Atlantic City line. Built in 1922 and last rehabilitated in 1988, the swing bridge is used by 35 trains daily. The agency will repair underwater concrete piers, remove deteriorated protective timber sheeting and install new vinyl sheeting below the water line to protect piers from erosion. Construction will begin next month and be complete in December.

In addition, the agency approved plans to award a $1 million contract to rehabilitate Camden’s Walter Rand Transportation Center. The facility has steadily deteriorated since it opened in 1987 because water has infiltrated from the parking deck and stair towers. The project will take one year to complete.

Finally, the board approved spending $846,000 to conduct preliminary engineering for new communications systems at 22 rail and bus facilities. NJ Transit will replace existing public-address systems to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for audio and visual communications.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/23/2005