New Jersey to build railway fence along "Chemical Alley"

Published 11 January 2007

A 2.6 mile stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike has security planners worried; ten-foot-high fence will obtruct view of the track from both drivers and would-be terrorists; motion sensors and CCTV to be deployed as well; contract award is imminent

The new DHS grant awards consider New York and New Jersey as part of the same high-risk metropolitan area, but that does not mean that either will give up on its own homeland security initiatives. Take New Jersey’s latest rail security plan as an example. Highly concerned about terrorist attacks on chemical-laden freight trains running through a particular stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike known as “Chemical Alley” — not to be confused with former Baathist leaders Chemical Ali and Comical Ali — New Jersey will construct a 10-foot-high security fence along the 2.6 mile route. The $6 million project will include motion sensors and closed-circuit television, and, for the sake of both aesthetics and security, the fence will also obstruct the view of rail cars from anyone traveling along the turnpike. The winning bids for the project will be announced imminently.

We think the fence is a strong deterrent,” said Roger Shatzkin, New Jersey homeland security office spokesman. “Physical security is not only target hardening and making areas impenetrable, but it also is essentially disguising what assets there are.” Or, as the same office’s Richard Canas put it, “You can’t shoot what you can’t see.” The fence will be installed on a one-mile stretch of the turnpike near ConocoPhillips’s Bayway Refinery in Linden; and 1.1-mile and half-mile sections near Port Newark/Elizabeth, across from Newark Liberty International Airport.

-read more in this SecurityInfoWatch report…