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NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors today approved a contract to deDevelop a rehabilitation plan for the Newark Drawbridge and a conceptual design for the longer-range plan to replace the bridge.

“Our transportation system must continue to meet the needs of New Jersey travelers,” said DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. “We need to keep our infrastructure in a state of good repair while planning for the future to keep our state moving – figuratively and economically.”

“Keeping our infrastructure in a state of good repair continues to be our top priority,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “We must do that in the most economical manner, first rehabilitating where it makes the most economic sense and complete replacement only when necessary.”

The first phase of the work, awarded to Edwards & Kelcey of Morristown, will include an evaluation of the existing structure and the development of alternate improvements that will extend the useful life of the structure another 20 years – all part of the Corporation’s “Back-to-Basics” initiatives. Phase I also will include a conceptual design that will provide for subsequent replacement as part of future system expansion.

The rehabilitation plan is scheduled to be complete in December 2005.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York