UNVEILING OF TRAIN STATION FIXES SLATED

train-stationNew Jersey Transit will make a presentation tonight on planned renovations to Red Bank’s train station. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been six months since New Jersey Transit pledged to overhaul Red Bank’s creaking and crumbling train station, and now the agency is ready to fill the public in on its plans.

Gearing up for a complete makeover of the salmon-colored Victorian two-story, NJT officials will give a presentation Friday evening at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank to anyone interested in getting an idea of what lies ahead.

Back in December, officials said they intend on refurbishing the first floor, while doing away with the color and gingerbread style facade — all on NJT’s dime, too.

But when and how that’s going to happen, and if that plan is still firm, isn’t sure.

“I’ll have to ask, because I don’t know myself,” said George Bowden, a Historic Preservation Commission member who has taken the lead in getting the station rehabbed.

He’ll have other questions, too: When will the work go out to bid? What’s the targeted completion date? Will it be a phased project?

Bowden urges that residents and commuters get their questions ready for the NJT folks, as well. After the presentation, the floor will be open for a question-and-answer period, Bowden said.

“We hope to get as many people as we can, because it’s an important step in the history of our town,” he said.

That this meeting is taking place is a pretty good indication that the years of pushing local officials to take action on the station is paying off, Bowden said. Leaks, creaks, peels and crumbles over the years at the historic station have become a chief concern among the HPC and Preservation Red Bank, a citizens’ group. Bowden and others made a big push last fall to shine more light on the problems at the station. This is a result of those efforts.

So getting NJT to commit to the fixes is a relief?

“Affirmative,” Bowden said.

Friday’s meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8p at the Woman’s Club, on Broad Street across from the post office.