After Maplewood residents recently made a stink, NJ Transit showed up to start work on the “disgusting” train tunnel below the Maplewood train station.
Now the town is considering new mural options for the patched and painted walls, with the decision on a process for mural selection to be announced in December. NJ Transit suggests that murals be painted on frames that can be mounted on the walls — a method used at other train stations.
The recent push to improve the tunnel began when Maplewood resident Brian Vitagliano posted pictures to the Village Green News & Views Facebook group on September 21 and detailed the deteriorated state of the tunnel. Village Green then posted an article and called for residents to deluge NJ Transit with complaints, providing a link to the online feedback form.
We also reached out to a similarly fed-up Mayor Vic DeLuca who voiced his exasperation with NJ Transit and his continued advocacy for improvements to the tunnel.
The article was published September 23.
By October 3, workers were in the tunnel making improvements, as documented in the above photo posted to Facebook by Maplewood resident Steve Livingstone.
On October 10, DeLuca followed up with this report:
Township Committee member Frank McGehee and I met with a team from NJ Transit at the station on Monday afternoon. Transit will continue to patch and paint the tunnels over the next couple of weeks. They also will make sure floor drains are clear and clean and will fix the crumbling masonry. Lighting fixtures and conduits already have been replaced.
All walls and ceilings will be painted white. All the existing murals will be painted over. At least three people have contacted the Township about painting new murals. No decision has been made regarding new murals or who will be selected to paint new murals. Transit has requested that new murals be painted on frames that can be mounted on the walls. Transit uses this method of mural painting at other train stations.
As to timeline, repair work will continue into early November. The decision about the process for selecting muralists will be made in early December.
Photos below provided courtesy of Mayor DeLuca: