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Following Gottheimer’s push to restore Lackawanna Cut-off railway, NJ Transit moves critical project forward

Federal Investment Clawed Back Will Help Fix Roseville Tunnel, Culverts, Retaining Walls, Add 8,000 Feet of Track Bed

ANDOVER, NJ (Sussex County) —  U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Wednesday applauded that, following his push to move the project forward, NJ Transit has approved investment to fix critical infrastructure needed to restore the Lackawanna Cut-off rail service.

Last month, Gottheimer called on NJ Transit to put aside bureaucratic stalling and immediately move forward with investments needed to restore the Roseville Tunnel, fix culverts, and other projects needed to return quality rail service to Sussex and Warren Counties — to help decrease commute time, boost tourism, and grow the local economy in Northwestern New Jersey.

Following Gottheimer’s push and years of work to bring rail service back to Northwestern New Jersey, NJ Transit will now invest $32.5 million to rehabilitate the 111-year-old Roseville Tunnel, the Hudson Farm culvert, the Junction Brook culvert, construct 8,000 feet of track bed, stabilize rock slopes, and more.

“After working across the aisle for years to return rail service to Northwestern New Jersey and calling on NJ Transit to stop delaying with bureaucratic games, it’s great to see that they will now begin working to rehabilitate the Roseville Tunnel, fix the Hudson Farm and Junction Brook culverts, and get the Lackawanna Cut-off project moving,” Gottheimer said. “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. 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.”

Gottheimer has worked with local residents and elected leaders, including NJ State Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Hal Wirths, Assemblyman Parker Space, Andover Township officials Mayor Thomas Walsh, Deputy Mayor Ellsworth Bensley, Committeewoman Janis McGovern, Committeeman Eric Karr, Committeeman John Carafello, and former Mayor Michael Lensak, to get rail service restored to the Lackawanna Cut-off.

According to Amtrak’s Corridor Vision plan — released in May 2021 — expanding service beyond the Lackawanna Cut-off to Scranton, Pennsylvania, will generate about $87 million in annual economic activity, plus $2.9 billion from one-time economic impact from construction along the corridor.

Every day, 28,000 people commute between Northeast Pennsylvania, Northern New Jersey, and New York. Sussex County has the longest average commute time of all New Jersey counties at 38 minutes, and Vernon Township specifically has been ranked as having the worst commutes in New Jersey. Since 2011, New Jersey commute times have increased by 8.8 percent.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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