Category: Featured

Surveying in the Field: April 2024

Robinson Aerial Surveys and Colliers Engineering & Design (RAS/Colliers) are collaborating on a field survey project in Camden and Gloucester Counties. This initiative aims to precisely map the existing railroad right-of-way for the future Glassboro-Camden Line construction.

What We’re Doing

The crews will be carefully examining the right-of-way, recovering essential evidence such as monuments, bridges, structures, markers, and other identifiable points. This meticulous process allows for highly accurate plotting of the railroad boundaries.

What to Expect

Safety First:

  • All RAS/Colliers personnel have completed the mandatory CONRAIL Safety Training, ensuring their safety while working near the rail corridor.
  • Flaggers will be present to guide crews and maintain safety protocol.

Visible Crew Presence:

  • Crews will be readily identifiable in marked company vehicles (vans or pick-up trucks) displaying the RAS/Colliers name, logo, and contact details.
  • This work will not disrupt local traffic flow.

Survey Techniques:

  • Primarily, one- or two-person teams will utilize high-precision GPS receivers to pinpoint survey monuments and physical features in three dimensions. This method helps us accurately define the railroad property lines.

Minimal Fieldwork Impact:

  • Upon completion, the only trace of their presence might be occasional survey ribbon markers left behind for future reference, should the need arise to relocate specific features.

Project Transparency

RAS/Colliers is committed to keeping the community informed. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as these crews in the field continue working towards the next steps and advancement of the Glassboro-Camden Line project.

Photo gallery below:

Unpacking a DBOM Contract: A User-Friendly Guide

GCL will be delivered using a Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) contract. This approach streamlines the project by combining design, construction, and ongoing maintenance under a single contractor. As we prepare for the next phase of the project, this page will help explain how a DBOM works.

How a DBOM Contract Works

Imagine you need a brand-new public park and want to see it constructed and opened as soon as possible. A DBOM contract is like hiring a one-stop shop to handle everything. Here’s how it works:

  • All in One: A single representative/entity assigned to take care of the entire project life cycle. They design, build, operate (run) the park, and maintain the project.
  • Think “Turnkey” Project: The representative/entity is responsible for delivering the finished park, ready for you to use, just like buying something “turnkey” – everything is included.

A breakdown of a DBOM example

1. Design: The representative/entity’s designer prepares engineering plans for the park, based on the owner’s needs and budget.

2. Build: The representative/entity manages construction, ensuring everything meets safety and quality standards.

3. Operate: Once built, the representative/entity runs the park, making sure it’s open, clean, and functioning properly.

4. Maintain: The representative/entity keeps the park in good shape through regular upkeep and repairs.

DBOM Benefits

  • Faster Completion: Having one DBOM representative/entity, that can handle everything, can streamline the process and lead to a quicker finished product.
  • Expertise: The representative/entity brings design, construction, and maintenance knowledge to the table.
  • Risk Transfer: The representative/entity takes on some of the risk for cost overruns or delays during construction so that it can manage them more efficiently than the owner.

Final Thoughts

  • Proposer Selection: Choosing a qualified and experienced Design-Build-Operate-Maintain team is crucial for a successful project. Curious to learn more about the DBOM model? Read more on the FHWA website.

GCL Trains

The GCL trains will revolutionize how commuters and travelers experience South Jersey. With comfort, safety, and ease of travel as top priorities, the GCL empowers you to choose how you spend your journey. Catch up on work, binge-watch your favorite show, or lose yourself in a captivating book – the possibilities are endless aboard the GCL trains.

Subsurface Exploration Program on the Road (Borings): What to Expect

In both the Camden and Gloucester County communities, Summit Drilling Company is on-site at different locations to take soil samples, using either a truck or track-mounted drill rigs. This work is being done to evaluate the ground conditions for the future construction of the Glassboro-Camden Line. While this work (borings) can cause temporary disruptions, understanding the process can ease concerns and help you navigate the situation safely.

Here’s what you can expect to see:

Preparation:

  • All required permits for this work will be in place, from agencies having jurisdiction.
  • The area is marked with cones, signs, and barriers to create a safe work zone, and traffic is rerouted around the work zone.
  • Crews are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as reflective vests and hard hats.
  • Expect some noise and dust during this initial phase.

The Drilling:

  • Drilling can generate noise, vibrations, and dust. In some areas, traffic flow might be reduced or diverted to minimize disruptions.
  • Crews will take necessary precautions to manage dust, debris, and ensure safety for workers and pedestrians. All debris will be confined within the work zone.
  • Work will be typically performed between the hours of 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM.
  • Typically, each boring will require 1 to 3 days, depending upon the depth of the boring.

Restoration:

  • Once drilling is complete, the crew will backfill and restore the disturbed area back to a similar original condition.
  • Be aware of potential uneven surfaces or changes in road markings during the restoration phase.
  • Subsurface exploration work (borings) are due to be completed by June 2024.

Safety Tips:

  • Always obey traffic signs and directions from flaggers or law enforcement personnel.
  • Reduce your speed and maintain extra caution when driving adjacent to the work zones.
  • Be mindful of construction workers and their equipment.
  • If you have concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact the project authorities or local transportation department.

By staying informed and practicing caution, you can navigate these situations smoothly and safely.

Efficient Travel Solutions: Glassboro-Camden Line’s Future Platform Designs

The Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL) will revolutionize the South Jersey commuter experience as it restores passenger-rail service along an existing rail line. The GCL Project Team is committed to providing accessible rail service for all. In doing so, the GCL will have user-friendly stations located approximately every one-to-two miles along the line with two types of platforms: center and side platform.

Center platforms are designed with tracks on both sides, allowing trains to move simultaneously in opposite directions. Commuters will experience unparalleled ease with inbound and outbound trains efficiently stopping on opposite sides of the platform. This setup permits effortless transfers between sides, ensuring that passengers can change directions without the need to leave the platform.

Side platforms will feature tracks positioned between the platforms. Trains will move in opposite directions between the platforms, offering an alternative configuration to accommodate varying station layouts and space constraints. Side platforms present an effective solution in scenarios where space and track layouts need different arrangements.

“Many factors influence the type of platform a station will have,” stated Delaware River Port Authority Chief Engineer, Mike Venuto. “Throughout the preliminary engineering design phase, our team is meticulously exploring the complexities of these factors, including space availability, track layouts, and projected volume of commuters. Our primary goal is to optimize the station design to meet the diverse needs of the communities we serve.”

In alignment with the GCL’s commitment to inclusivity, all stations will be ADA-accessible, ensuring that every passenger can experience the convenience and comfort of rail travel. The GCL Project Team is dedicated to making the journey smooth and enjoyable for all.

For more information and updates on the GCL project, please visit www.glassborocamdenline.com/

Glassboro-Camden Line Project: Paving the Way for a Better Future with Public Transportation

According to the American Public Transportation Association, every segment of society benefits from public transportation. The Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL), a proposed 18-mile passenger rail line between Glassboro and Camden, will revolutionize public transportation in South Jersey. The GCL will bring a myriad of benefits to the local community, and beyond, with a strong emphasis on economic growth, environmental preservation, and creating a more connected society.

Economic Benefits

Recent studies have shown that investing in public transportation brings substantial economic returns.  The GCL will build a stronger, more resilient economy while enhancing the quality of life in the communities it connects.

  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.
  • Every $1 billion in federal highway and transit investment supports 13,000 jobs for one year.
  • Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.
  • Home values in areas located near high-frequency public transit performed 42% better than other areas.

Environmental Benefits

The GCL maximizes existing transportation assets while minimizing impacts to the environment. The GCL encourages a modal shift from auto to transit, which reduces traffic congestion and carbon emissions while also encouraging sustainable travel options. Key environmental benefits include:

  • 1 GCL train will accommodate 300 passengers who otherwise might be driving alone.
  • Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
  • 1 in 4 households located near transit does not own a vehicle.
  • Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.

Societal Benefits

The GCL offers reliable, convenient, and affordable passenger rail service that will connect people to opportunities throughout Camden and Gloucester counties. The GCL will create easy access to cultural, recreational, educational, economic, and medical resources on both sides of the Delaware River. Significant societal benefits include:

  • Offers mobility options to individuals without access to a vehicle.
  • GCL stations are located in existing communities with several walk-up stations.
  • Statistically, train-related accidents happen at a lesser rate and with much lower passenger fatality rates than car travel does.
  • Provides riders with convenient access to work, school, shopping, doctors, entertainment, and each other by removing barriers to access.
  • Read a book, prep for a meeting, study, or stare out the window and enjoy the ride; avoid the stresses of driving and regain your time.

For more information and updates on the GCL project, please visit www.glassborocamdenline.com/

Glassboro-Camden Line Relaunches Project Website

The Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL) Project Team is excited to announce the release of a newly designed project website. The easy-to-navigate website’s goal is to create more engagement, transparency, and communication throughout the development of the train line while also offering valuable insights into the future of the transit system. 

The GCL is a proposed 18-mile passenger rail line between Glassboro and Camden in South Jersey and is currently in the preliminary engineering design phase. To ensure stakeholders and the community remain well informed and engaged, the project team is launching this user-friendly website, accessible to all interested parties. 

 Key Features of the GCL Website 

  • Better understand the GCL project, including the purpose, goals, route selection, stations, and more.  
  • Explore a detailed map that visually shows the GCL route through station locations, the communities along the corridor, and other local transit options.
  • Browse a document library and stay up to date with the latest project news and upcoming meetings. 
  • Access frequently asked questions, addressing common questions about the project and future train service.  
  • Sign up for the GCL email list to receive project information and updates. Submit questions and comments directly to the Project Team through the website.

By relaunching the GCL website, the Project Team hopes to reinforce its dedication to transparency and collaboration, creating an informed and engaged community throughout the entire design phase. The website will be continuously updated with the latest information, ensuring that stakeholders can actively participate in the project’s future. To explore the new GCL website, please visit www.glassborocamdenline.com.

Glassboro-Camden Line Achieves Important Milestone

A vital transportation link for South Jersey will advance to preliminary engineering design

The Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL) remains on track to significantly impact transportation in South Jersey. The new commuter rail line will benefit thousands of commuters while strengthening communities, creating jobs, bolstering economies, and promoting economic development.

This week, the light-rail project achieved a significant project milestone with the completion of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The EIS was a critical phase that carefully reviewed the project’s environmental impacts. Nationally recognized transportation experts conducted the study with feedback from hundreds of members of the community.

“The GCL project is a vital transportation link for South Jersey, one that is long overdue,” said Jeffrey L. Nash, Camden County Commissioner, and DRPA Vice Chairman. “The GCL will serve to reduce our carbon footprint, increase property values for homeowners, spark economic opportunities for businesses, and provide a convenient means of transportation for workers, students, and those who want easy access to the universities, hospitals, and cities.”

The GCL is an 18-mile passenger light rail line that will traverse Gloucester and Camden counties, including the communities of Glassboro, Pitman, Sewell, Mantua Township, Deptford Township, Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, Woodbury, Westville, Brooklawn, Gloucester City and Camden. The GCL restores passenger rail service in a corridor that historically provided passenger rail service.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) has committed $200 million towards the next phase of the project- preliminary engineering design and project management.

“South Jersey Transportation Authority is pleased to invest in this transformative project,” said Stephen F. Dougherty, SJTA Executive Director. “This project will reduce traffic congestion, provide greater transportation options, and advance environmental stewardship.”

“The GCL will effectively extend the Philadelphia-Camden metropolitan area,” said John T. Hanson, DRPA CEO and PATCO President. “This commuter rail line will provide convenient transportation for workers, students, and those who want easy access to the many cultural, recreational, educational, economic and medical resources on both sides of the river.”

To view the environmental impact study, click here.

Glassboro-Camden Line Moves Forward

A vital transportation link for South Jersey enters the preliminary engineering design phase

The Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL) Project Team has selected the infrastructure consulting firm, South Jersey Transit Partners (SJTP), to provide preliminary engineering and design (PED), project management, and professional services for the pre-construction phase of the light rail line. SJTP is a joint venture between AECOM and STV Incorporated, two nationally recognized transit planning and engineering firms.

This action moves the GCL closer to construction with the start of the next phase of this important project that will expand connections between communities in South Jersey by restoring passenger rail service.

“The GCL is an important initiative to improve mobility by offering quick, reliable, and frequent rail service to the region,” said Bane Gaiser, chief executive of AECOM’s U.S. East and Latin America region. “Our SJTP joint venture is incredibly proud to continue our crucial work, leveraging our deep understanding of the GCL’s objectives, the project’s scope, stakeholder engagement, and public needs to successfully deliver a transportation option that will have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of South Jerseyans.”

The PED phase is a critical part of the project as it will define the overall project configuration and develop a strategic construction plan. This phase, which is expected to take three years, provides design specifications and contract documents, secures right-of-way acquisitions and easements, and performs geotechnical and utility surveys.

In addition, SJTP will provide project management office functions, including continued community relations and public involvement for the GCL throughout the design and construction phases.

The Glassboro-Camden Line is an 18-mile passenger light rail line that will traverse Gloucester and Camden counties. It will restore passenger rail service along an existing rail line, with the goal of increasing mobility and improving links between established communities, jobs, and activity centers in the region.

The GCL project is managed by the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) with NJ Transit and the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) serving as project partners.

“We expect public transportation to be even more important in the future,” said John T. Hanson, DRPA CEO. “The time is now to build permanent infrastructure that will provide the residents and businesses in South Jersey with safe and equitable access to key destinations and to create opportunities for business expansion and employee recruitment.”