To address that, NJ Transit is set to launch a $50 millionmodernization of the landmark train station. To get things rolling,officials of the state transportation agency have awarded a $29.8million contract to Anselmi & DeCicco Inc. of Maplewood, NJ forstation improvements and the construction of high-level platforms.Work will begin early next year and NJ Transit officials expecteverything to be done by 2010.

Serving more than 100 trains and well over 7,000 riders per day,Metropark is the state's second busiest train station, with onlyNewark Penn Station busier. It's also one of the 25 busiest Amtrakstations. "The heavy use has taken its toll," George Warrington,executive director of NJ Transit said last week in announcing theawarding of the contract.

Besides the longer and wider high-level platforms that willaccommodate longer trains, the project also includes increasedcanopy and windscreen coverage, climate-controlled waiting shelter,and an expanded and refurbished station building. The building willget new staircases, a renovated pedestrian tunnel, new pedestrianconnections from Route 27 and a variety of new customeramenities.

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