The latest Post Sandy update from NJ Transit…
NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES HOBOKEN TERMINAL WAITING ROOM SET TO
REOPEN ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 29
Heated waiting area and improved temporary amenities will enhance customer comfort
Photo from TheBoken.com archives
NJ TRANSIT recently announced that the Hoboken Terminal waiting room will reopen on Tuesday, January 29, providing a heated shelter and temporary seating for customers as the agency continues with remediation work to address storm-related flood damage from Hurricane Sandy.
“Storm recovery at Hoboken Terminal has been a time-intensive process, but a critical one in the interest of the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “We are focusing our efforts on making our customers more comfortable, as we simultaneously continue our work to address the unprecedented damage Sandy left in her wake.”
At the height of Hurricane Sandy, Hudson River flooding immersed the entire terminal in at least five feet of water. When the water receded, six to eight inches of mud and debris were left behind. Flooding damaged all areas of the main concourse, including the ticket office, customer service office, station operations, transportation operations, vendors and the food court.
Since December 19, 2012, the Hoboken Terminal waiting room has been closed, after NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations and environmental consultants conducted a post-hurricane assessment of the terminal and determined additional remediation work was required to address mold growth. In response, NJ TRANSIT hired remediation contractors to address mold issues throughout the terminal.
Work to prepare the waiting room for re-opening has included power washing the walls, replacing heaters and heater motors, replacing electrical panels, outlets and wiring, and stripping and sealing the floors. Remaining work includes cleaning, refinishing and resetting benches and other affected woodwork, to be performed in the near future.
In advance of the Tuesday opening, NJ TRANSIT is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the waiting room is safe for customers until mold remediation work can be completed. All wooden structures, including the benches, newsstand and shoe shine, will be covered in plastic and sealed, providing a barrier to the mold. Every opening to peripheral rooms, such as the ticket office and crew quarters, will also be taped and sealed in plastic to prevent mold exposure. In addition, barricades will be erected as needed.
In order to restore heating to the waiting room, NJ TRANSIT had to procure a temporary boiler and connect it to the terminal’s intricate piping system. The previous boiler was completely inundated with water during the storm. Because the boiler is a large, complex unit, it could not be replaced by an “off-the-shelf” unit and took considerable time to procure.
Extensive work is required to address damage in other parts of the terminal. All tenant space, including the recently constructed food court, needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt and replacing all mold contaminated structure elements. Similarly, the public restrooms, storage areas and crew quarters—including 550 employee lockers—must be gutted and rebuilt.
To enhance customer comfort while storm recovery work is ongoing, NJ TRANSIT is looking into offering improved interim amenities for customers. Since Tuesday, January 22, NJ TRANSIT has accommodated customers in Hoboken with idling, heated trains equipped with restrooms for customer use. In addition, customers will now have access to four rail cars equipped with restrooms that will be parked in the middle of the terminal on Track 8.
“We recognize that our customers have endured a number of challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and want to thank them for their continued patience and understanding,” said Executive Director Weinstein. “To further hear about our customers’ experiences, next month we are launching another round of ‘We Are Listening’ forums, including one at Hoboken Terminal.”
NJ TRANSIT customers can interact with general managers of operations and senior level staff at the “We Are Listening” forum outside the Hoboken Terminal waiting room on Tuesday, February 12, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
As soon as the storm ended, NJ TRANSIT personnel, together with the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Navy, and FEMA, responded to the site for the initial assessment of storm damage and to begin making any initial clean-up and repairs. A significant portion of the clean-up efforts began even before the water receded.
Due to Hoboken Terminal’s historic status, NJ TRANSIT has coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for remediation work on areas of the terminal that have historic significance. NJ TRANSIT is also working with the Department of Community of Affairs (DCA) on inspections and permitting.
Hoboken Terminal serves nearly 60,000 people on a typical weekday on commuter rail, light rail, bus, PATH and ferry service. Approximately 300 trains operate in and out of the terminal on a typical weekday on NJ TRANSIT’s Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex Lines, as well as Metro-North’s Port Jervis Line.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the second largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 61 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.