Stalled NJ Transit rail station project finally gets the green light
Plans to build a train station in North Brunswick first proposed more than a decade ago are finally moving forward.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy and top state leaders announced that a memorandum of understanding has been reached to build the Main Street North Brunswick station situated along the Northeast Corridor Line.
The $50 million dollar project, to be funded through the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund, will be designed and developed by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority at the site of the former Johnson & Johnson facility along Route 1.
New Jersey Transit will partner with the MCIA on the project.
“When you have a transit stop and you develop it good things happen to the surrounding economy and community, it’s 100% likely, it’s not almost always, it is always,” said Murphy.
He said he looks forward to having NJ Transit work with Middlesex County officials to get the long-planned train station completed.
“This is going to be a game changer for North Brunswick, it’s going to be a game changer for Middlesex County.”
Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, said it’s impossible to build new train stations everywhere in the state “but where we can build them or rebuild them, to have a station that is customer engaged, that meets the needs of our customers is hugely important and I think this project is going to deliver that.”
Said noted the project is important in a number of ways.
“What we hope to have is a model train station for all those other localities that are looking to have something built in their communities, so there’s a lot riding on this, not just for North Brunswick.”
Gutierrez-Scaccetti said New Jersey’s fabric is its communities and “we’re adding a community by adding this train station. We’re building around something and giving people that sense of neighborhood again and the sense of neighborhood is key to what New Jersey is.”
State Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, believes allocating $50 million from the Transportation Trust Fund for the project makes sense for Central Jersey and the entire state.
“This is a game changer. Somebody asked me how much does it cost. Well, let's add up the jobs that are going to be here, the taxes that are going to be here," he said. “This is a big win for the entire state, for this region and it couldn’t come at a better time. And for my friends in construction, it definitely couldn’t come at a better time.”
Planning for the rail station, to be situated next to retail stores and a residential development, is expected to take about two years. Once it’s complete, and the NJ Transit Board of Directors signs off on it, construction will begin.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com