Back in 2006, transportation officials and leaders in Middlesex County started talking seriously about the idea of adding a train station on NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor line in North Brunswick.

There’s no train station yet but after years of delays and more discussions, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority announced on Thursday the selection of WSP USA as the design and engineering consultant for the $50 million project.

During a Zoom news conference on Thursday, James Polos, the executive director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, called this an important step even though it will be a while before the train station is designed and built.

He said it will probably take a year and a half to get to a 30% design of the project.

Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, said “the goal here is to get shovels in the ground as quickly as we can."

Shanti Narra, who sits on the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners, said she understands everybody is looking forward to this and “we want this project built sooner than later but we’re not going to sacrifice safety or quality.”

She said every effort will be made to make the design workable now and in the future as well.

Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the Garden State is built on the fabric of its communities “and this new community that’s being built around this North Brunswick train station is a new neighborhood.”

She said the North Brunswick train station will benefit many Central Jersey communities.

“If someone wants to go to MetLife to a concert, visit American Dream or go to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, we’re going to make it so convenient for them to not get in a car," she said.

The area along Route 1 where the train station will be situated already has a handful of businesses that are part of what is being billed as Main Street North Brunswick.

“You go by there it’s bright, it’s well lit, it’s inviting,” said Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “And now this train station is going to make that community that much more valuable.”

Kevin Corbett, the president and CEO of NJ Transit, said the North Brunswick train station will offer commuters a new option and help to relieve growing traffic congestion on Route 1.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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