Renovations to the Roselle Park train station have been postponed indefinitely due to the extent of damage to the platform being more serious than originally thought.
The project – estimated to be around $5.8 million – was originally announced in June of 2014 and had an initial start date of Spring 2015. The Roselle Park train station was to be refurbished, have a new design that included custom artwork for windbreaks as well as stained glass, and replace concrete platforms. The design phase was completed and, after some delay, the renovations were set to begin last month, in November.
On the October 5th Mayor & Council meeting, Mayor Hokanson spoke of issues that performers at the Roselle Park Arts Festival experienced. Members of the ZCO Dance Project (link), who were coming from New York City to perform at the festival in September, had to disembark at the Union Township train station because Roselle Park’s train station has no ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility. The ZCO Dance Project performers – artists who have various ranges of physical disabilities – needed to be transported back to Union in order to return home. Mayor Hokanson stated at that meeting that a letter should be sent from the borough to NJ Transit to have ADA compliant accessibility be included in the new platform. The mayor stated, “If I have to sacrifice one or two glass stains for that, then so be it.”
On October 21st, Third Ward Councilman William Fahoury read a letter from State Senator Kean letter recognizing the need for outreach regarding disabilities and ADA compliant access to the Roselle Park train station.
At that meeting, Councilman Fahoury added that he spoke with John Leon, Senior Director of NJ Transit’s Office of Government Relations. Councilman Fahoury relayed points of the conversation, saying “The extent of the damage of the platform was much worse than anticipated so the project has been temporarily postponed. Repairs will not begin in November of 2017 as anticipated before. The project design will be starting again from scratch so it will take a few months until the project is on schedule for repairs. Although in the original plan, Mr. Leon did inform me that there would be ADA wheelchair accessible ramps included in the original plan. However, being that the project is going to be postponed, the new plans will include elevators that are handicapped accessible.”
On November 2nd, Mayor Hokanson reiterated that the plans have been pulled to incorporate an elevator.
In reaching out to NJ Transit, Director of Media Relations Jim Smith confirmed what Mr. Leon stated, that “NJ Transit is upgrading the original plan for platform repair at Roselle Park to include an elevator for improved customer access. The project is currently in the early stages of design.”