Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Joseph Lagana (both D-Bergen/Passaic) on Monday praised federal and state officials for the completion of safety improvements to the Midland Avenue railroad crossing.
“The Midland Avenue crossing was notorious for being one of the most dangerous railroad crossings not only in New Jersey, but in the entire nation,” said Eustace. “Congressman Pascrell, officials at Department of Transportation and many other dedicated individuals worked hard to make the on-time completion of this project a priority. These improvements will go a long way toward making travel safer both for drivers and for New Jersey Transit passengers.”
The project consists of a queue cutter traffic signal, a new crossing surface and a new “Do Not Block the Box” surface treatment and striping.
Prior to the improvements, vehicles often inadvertently stopped on the railroad tracks when the flow of traffic slowed unexpectedly, Eustace and Lagana noted. The new signal will stop road traffic as a train approaches and prevent traffic from resuming until after the train has cleared the crossing completely, thereby preventing motorists from blocking the tracks.
“After several accidents at this railroad crossing in the last decade alone, the urgent need for these safety improvements was unmistakably clear,” said Lagana. “The technology in this new queue cutter system will save lives by preventing cars from stopping on the tracks, and the federal, state and local officials who pushed for action on this matter certainly are worthy of high praise.”
The cost of the improvements, which began in March, totaled $800,000, the sum of $300,000 and $500,000 in federal and state funds, respectively.