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Station improvements will link downtown Market Street areas, allow for easier transfers between trains

January 23, 2007
Contact: Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today approved the latest in a series of enhancements to Newark Penn Station, amending a contract for work that will provide greater ease of access to the city’s transportation hub for customers and residents in the downtown Market Street area.

"The enhancements to Newark Penn Station will enable the facility to keep up with both our growing ridership and the ongoing development in the City of Newark," said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Kris Kolluri. "The end result will mean improved access for customers transferring between trains and a better connection to the downtown for area residents, employees and visitors."

The Board of Directors amended its contract with Clough Harbour & Associates, LLP of Parsippany to expand the scope of work planned for the extension and rehabilitation of Newark Penn Station’s Track 5 platform. The final design services will now include enhancements to the station stairways at Market Street, demolition of the former heating plant building and foundation design on the Track 5 platform for a future pedestrian overpass.

"This project represents a strategic improvement for the City of Newark and our developing downtown," said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. "The improved access from Market Street to the station will stitch together two vibrant areas of the city, linking the Ironbound section to the center core district—including the Gateway Complex and new arena."

"More than just an expansion of a platform, this project is about creating better ease of access from our station building to Newark’s developing downtown, particularly in the Market Street area," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "Customers will also benefit from new lighting, an improved communication system and enhanced safety and security measures."

In June 2005, the Board authorized a contract for final design to extend and rehabilitate the platform along Track 5 in Newark Penn Station for a project that will restore the station platform, improve the appearance and functionality of customer queuing areas, and extend the platform to provide greater capacity for longer Raritan Valley Line trains.

With the added enhancements to the Market Street area of Newark Penn Station, the station upgrades will also include new lighting, signage, communication systems and architectural treatments to make the area more attractive and inviting for customers. In addition, design plans will be developed to demolish and remove the former station heating plant at the southern end of the station along Track 5.

The stairways from Market Street to the station platforms are used by customers transferring between trains during the peak periods, by commuters parking near the station, and by area employees and residents.

The amended contract authorizes an additional $1.1 million for design services, for a total contract authorization of approximately $4.6 million.

Completion of final design is slated for summer 2007. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 857,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.