NJT PLANS REPAIRS, NEW LOOK FOR STATION

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NJTransit’s plan includes removal of gingerbread trimming, which historians say is inauthentic. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It looks as though the Red Bank train station will finally get those long-awaited repairs Historic Preservation Commission members have been clamoring for, and then some.

Commission members, along with Mayor Pasquale Menna, met with New Jersey Transit officials Thursday to go over a multiphased plan that will overhaul the deteriorating Victorian-style station and restore it to its former glory.

Beginning early next year, transit workers will start work on what NJT regional manager Thomas Clark said are “problems that are apparent,” namely the holes that have been letting water and birds inside. There’ll be some sealing work done and new fascia board installed to maintain the building’s integrity, Clark said.

While that work is being done, design plans will be drawn up for a spring and summer of heavy hitting at the Monmouth Street station.

“We’ve committed that we’re going to do some significant repairs,” he said.

That means inside and out. The current salmon and green exterior? Gone. The gingerbread roofing and trim? Departing the station. The windows will be restored, a new faux slate roof installed, the first floor inside refurbished and repainted. NJT will work with the state historic preservation organization to design the building’s new look and colors, and Clark said the end result will be more reflective of the station’s historical value.

“It’ll be completely done over,” Clark said.

The work is expected to take between 18 and 24 months and shouldn’t create much of a disturbance to transit riders, said Michaela Ferrigine, a commission member. Clark said all repairs and upgrades will be paid for through NJT’s capital improvement fund. Although the major work that will take place in the spring and summer still has to be put out to bid, Clark said it could cost between $1 and $2 million.

Thursday’s meeting came as a result of what commission member George Bowden called “impatience.” He and other members have been riding Menna and the Borough Council to get repairs done to the station, which, aside from some quick repairs and patchy paint jobs, has received little attention over the years.

But now they’re satisfied that a plan is in place.

“I feel like we made a giant step forward,” Bowden said of the meeting. “We’ve been very concerned about the degradation of the building. The plan has been thought out by the transit folks, and it’s very promising.”