Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex Rail; Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties, NJ
Notice of intent to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is issuing this notice to advise agencies and the public that, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, FTA and the NJ TRANSIT Corporation will prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to evaluate and document the effects of potential rail service alternatives within a three county study area bounded by the Northeast Corridor, the North Jersey Coast Line and the southern Ocean County border, located within Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey. The purpose of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex Rail Project DEIS is to examine the potential benefits, costs, and social, economic, and environmental impacts of feasible alternatives for improving mobility in the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex region. The DEIS will identify a preferred alternative that will improve mobility within that region. The DEIS will evaluate a Baseline Alternative and three Commuter Rail Alternatives of differing alignment. The Monmouth Junction Commuter Rail Alternative would use an existing rail corridor that runs from Monmouth Junction to Lakehurst along the Jamesburg Branch, the Freehold Secondary, and the Southern Secondary (Southern Branch) to provide diesel commuter rail service to communities in all three counties. The Red Bank Commuter Rail Alternative would also use an existing rail corridor--continuously from Red Bank to Lakehurst along the Southern Secondary (Southern Branch). The Matawan Commuter Rail Alternative would use the abandoned Freehold Branch, Freehold Secondary, and the Southern Secondary to provide diesel commuter rail service from Matawan to Lakehurst. All three alternatives would require improvements to the existing track and require the construction of some new transportation infrastructure, including tracks, stations and yards. The Commuter Rail Alternatives under consideration were identified and preliminarily assessed as part of the MOM Draft Major Investment Study (MIS) Report (February 1996), along with a recommended Enhanced Bus service.