N.J. Transit OKs rail service to Sussex County

Andover. Contract includes new train station in Andover Township and a rehabilitation of the Roseville Tunnel in Byram Township.

| 18 Apr 2022 | 03:24

The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors on April 13 advanced the project to restore rail service to Sussex County along the Lackawanna Cutoff with the approval of a contract to rehabilitate the Roseville Tunnel.

The rehabilitation of the Roseville Tunnel is a crucial element in restoring passenger rail service from Port Morris to a new proposed station in Andover,” State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24), and Assemblymen Parker Space (R-24) and Hal Wirths (R-24) said in a combined statement.

“We sincerely thank the Transit Board for their approval of this phase of the Lackawanna Cutoff project which will bring passenger rail service up to Andover Township with the ultimate goal of extending it out to Scranton, Pennsylvania,” they said. “The northwestern area of New Jersey has a dearth of mass transit opportunities and the introduction of passenger rail service will give commuters a healthy option. The rail line will also be a welcome addition for the regional economy. Northwest New Jersey is certainly a four season tourist destination and more mass transportation is an added enticement.

The contract with Schiavone Construction Co. LLC of Secaucus, NJ includes the final design, construction, and commissioning of the Roseville Tunnel Rehabilitation project. The approximately $32.5 million contract is part of NJ TRANSIT’s larger Lackawanna Cutoff Restoration project.

“It has long been the promise of NJ TRANSIT to the people of Sussex County to restore service along the Lackawanna Cutoff,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The contract awarded today for the rehabilitation of the Roseville Tunnel demonstrates this administration’s commitment to turn words into action and deliver accessible public transportation options and service to customers around the state.”

The Lackawanna Cutoff Restoration project focuses on the planned restoration of passenger rail service on the east end of the Lackawanna Cutoff, between Port Morris and Andover, building a new rail station in Andover and replacing approximately seven miles of track. As part of the project, the Roseville Tunnel, which is a rock tunnel located near Roseville Road in Byram Township, will be rehabilitated.

The work in the contract awarded to Schiavone Construction Co. LLC includes stabilization of rock slopes, construction of 8,000 feetof track bed, drainage improvements, lighting and communication for the tunnel, and replacement of two culverts (Hudson Farm culvert and Junction Brook culvert), and other related work.

“Right now, there are zero options for folks in Sussex County to make their life easier and get on a train to get to work, or to see a family member,” U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) said. “I’ve heard from so many residents, businesses, and local elected officials about this issue, and of the urgent need for more transportation options to New York City from across Sussex. The Lackawanna Cut-off railway is a key part of the solution.”

The Lackawanna Cutoff Restoration Project from Port Morris to Andover is anticipated to be completed in late 2026.