Railroad underpasses in need of attention

The condition and maintenance of local railroad underpasses was brought to the attention of City Council last week.

East Hazelwood overpass.StreetView
Hazelwood Avenue (StreetView)

East Albert Avenue resident Juana Flores approached the governing body during the public comment portion of its Aug. 14 regular and combined meeting.

The East Hazelwood Avenue underpass in particular was a concern to Flores, who pointed out low-hanging wires above the sidewalk, but also raised the issue of pigeon droppings and other issues pedestrians might face while crossing beneath the tracks. All of the underpasses downtown, but especially the one on East Hazelwood Avenue, need maintenance, she said.

Main Street railroad underpass
Main Street

The railroad tracks are the dividing line between east and west portions of city streets, crossing over Inman Avenue, Hazelwood Avenue, Emerson Avenue, Milton Avenue, Cherry Street, Irving Street, Main Street, Grand Avenue, and Scott Avenue.

The downtown Rahway Train Station underwent significant renovations by NJ Transit in 1999. Amtrak owns the tracks, sharing them with NJ Transit. The city doesn’t have jurisdiction over the railroad tracks or underpasses, officials said they’ve been pushing Amtrak to get work done.

The railroad tressels are owned by Amtrak and the only one that is owned by NJ Transit — which is the only one that’s clean — is the one crossing over New Brunswick Avenue, according to City New Brunswick Avenue railroad overpassAdministrator Cherron Rountree. She said she has four years’ worth of emails fighting with Amtrak about the overpasses and a packet of information is being sent to the federal railroad agency shortly.

To the best of her knowledge, Rountree said the downed wires likely were the result of a car accident and PSE&G has been contacted about the situation.

The issues will persist until Amtrak makes repairs because the city can’t go in on its own for safety reasons, she said. Rountree hopes that the attention and correspondence might light a fire under Amtrak to address the situation.

2 thoughts on “Railroad underpasses in need of attention”

  1. Thank you to Juana Flores for bringing this to the city Council’s attention. I just want to add that the overpass on Saint George’s Avenue at route 27 is also in bad condition. There are mounds of pigeon droppings, cracks in the walls, litter and the hill leading up to the tracks needs to be weeded, mowed and cleaned up.

  2. Thanks for featuring the underpasses in your blog. I think this article would ignite a call to action for resident to write to Amtrack about their concerns. It important that we can walk under it not feel it unsafe and a health hazard. Rahway should be a town where every part is an inviting place to be.

Comments are closed.