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news release

P.O. Box 004
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Jayne O'Connor
Penny Bassett Hackett
973-491-7078 or
Charles Ingoglia

RELEASE: May 8, 2000

Office of the Governor

Governor Whitman Breaks Ground for
the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System

Light Rail System Will Connect the Cities of Camden
and Trenton With 20 Stations Along the 34-Mile System

Governor Christie Whitman broke ground for the start of the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System (SNJLRTS) on the future location of the SNJLRTS Delaware Avenue station stop, between Federal and Market Streets. Work will now begin on the 34-mile alignment with utility relocations throughout the City of Camden.

"Through this project, we will offer our residents reliable and affordable public transportation to work, school or any of the many world-class recreational destinations along the Delaware River waterfront," said Gov. Whitman. "More importantly, this line will revitalize communities along the waterfront and give them the opportunity to partake in the tremendous growth that is occurring in the state."

"Passenger light rail has been a centerpiece of Governor Whitman's transportation vision for the millennium - New Jersey First - and this ground breaking moves that vision from the drawing board to the construction site," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein. "It also sets in motion a project that will link two of the state's key population centers - Camden and Trenton - while generating more than 4,000 construction and construction-related jobs and making significant contributions to reducing traffic on area roads."

Jeffrey A. Warsh, NJ TRANSIT's Executive Director, said "What better place to begin construction of this system than in the City of Camden. Light Rail has proven to be the impetus for explosive economic development along the waterfront in Hudson County. We expect similar results for this system. The E-Center, the State Aquarium, a new baseball stadium, and of course, the Battleship New Jersey, are the types of destinations that underscore the role light-rail will play in the region's redevelopment."

The SNJLRTS is a 34-mile Light Rail line that will link the cities of Trenton and Camden. With 20 station stops, the light rail system will connect riders to NJ TRANSIT buses and trains, Amtrak, PATCO and SEPTA. The project, the largest public transit investment of state dollars in recent memory, will make significant infrastructure improvements throughout the 34-mile corridor. More than 50 grade crossings will be upgraded and 17 bridges will be either repaired or rebuilt. In addition, the SNJLRTS is expected to create more than 4,000 construction and construction-related jobs and 200 permanent career opportunities.

The SNJLRTS contract, a 13-year design, build, operate and maintain contract, was awarded to the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Group - a consortium of companies led by Bechtel and Adtranz - on May 12, 1999. The contract allocates approximately $453.3 million for the design and construction of the SNJLRTS, and $151.2 million for its operation and maintenance. Included in the contract is the three-year design-build portion which covers construction and/or purchase of bridges, track work, signalization, stations, and yard and shop. The operate-maintain portion of the contract covers staffing, training, administration, and station, vehicle and infrastructure upkeep for a period of 10 years.

The project is being implemented by NJ TRANSIT. The Southern New Jersey Light Rail Group, which has already been issued a Notice to Proceed by NJ TRANSIT, has three years to complete the system and begin revenue service.

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  Last Updated:  April 4, 2007