Long Slip Fill and Rail Enhancement Project

Project Description

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, NJ Transit developed a Resilience Program aimed at strengthening their transportation system to make it more durable and reliable before, during and after major weather events. The Long Slip Fill and Rail Enhancement project is part of this program. Project improvements include construction of a new two-track bridge, track relocations and/or reconfigurations of existing tracks, filling in the Long Slip Canal to create new land at an elevation that meets NJ Transit's flood risk management criteria, and construction of six new tracks and three high-level ADA-compliant passenger boarding platforms to serve as a station stop during emergencies or service disruptions elsewhere along the line. During normal operating conditions, these new tracks would be utilized for midday train storage. The purpose of the project is to enhance the resilience of NJ Transit commuter rail service operating into and out of Hoboken Terminal, leading up to and following severe weather events. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued for the project on October 20, 2016.

Paul Carpenter Associates, Inc. (PCA) performed a transit noise and vibration impact assessment as part of the environmental documentation for the project following Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines and procedures. FTA Noise and Vibration General Assessments were performed to determine the potential for operational impacts. Existing noise exposure for all analysis locations was determined through field measurements at representative sites. In addition, traffic data collection and vehicle classification counts were performed. The FTA's Noise Impact Assessment Spreadsheet was utilized to evaluate operational noise impacts, while the FTA's ground surface vibration curves and appropriate adjustment factors were utilized to assess operational ground-borne vibration and noise levels. No noise or vibration impacts were predicted to occur as a result of operation of the proposed project.

Due to the proximity of existing noise and vibration sensitive land use to project improvements and an estimated 3.5-year construction timeline, FTA Noise and Vibration General Assessments of construction-related impacts were performed. The heaviest operations during four main stages of construction were evaluated. Off-site mobile sources were also evaluated, as noise-sensitive receptors are located along proposed haul routes. Construction-related truck traffic is not anticipated to generate perceivable increases in noise levels along any leg of the proposed haul routes. Recommendations were provided to minimize nighttime noise impact and vibration-induced annoyance.