Through the Years - 1960s
|New Jersey anticipated the new United States Department ofTransportation (USDOT) by four months when the Legislature passed the Transportation Act which created the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) in 1966. As part of the Transportation Act, the Commuter Operating Agency (COA) was established to provide commuter rail services. David I. Goldberg was named the first Commissioner to lead NJDOT.
David J. Goldberg
A significant effort in the 1960s was the plan to consolidate passenger railroads. Called the Aldene Plan after a rail junction in Cranford, New Jersey, it went into effect in April 1967 with the following results:
- Jersey Central's terminals in Jersey City and Newark were abandoned
- tracks and signals were improved
- a new passenger station in Roselle Park was provided
- a terminal and storage yards were installed in Harrison
- $1.5 million annually was saved.
When the Penn Central Railroad and smaller railroads serving New Jersey declared bankruptcy, the federal government intervened and Conrail was established. NJDOT's Bureau of Ports, Terminals and Freight Services was formed to oversee federal programs designed to mitigate the impacts of railroad organization.
Other milestones in NJDOT's early years include:
- Implementation of a comprehensive maintenance management system
- Installation of milepost signs throughout the state highway system
- Participation in the development of a snowplowable raised reflective pavement marker
- Expansion of the Department by breaking ground for a new Finance and Administration Building
- Development of a new departmental emblem for identifying equipment and property of NJDOT
- Development of an optimum chemical premix for snow removal
- Commencement of Route 29 Freeway construction
- Operation of commuter trains on Penn Central track between Trenton and New York
- Introduction of the Load Concentrated Breakaway Coupling (LCBC) for large signs, a national first designed by NJDOT staff
- Installation of the first diagrammatic traffic signs at the I-287 and Route 22 interchange
- Announcement of the award of eight construction contracts totaling $36.5 million, the largest dollar amount of contract ever to be awarded at one time.