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Transportation funds to advance ferry service restoration project

March 20, 2008

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT’s Hoboken Terminal restoration project received a financial boost recently when $10 million of federal SAFETEA-LU maritime funds were approved for the project through the NJ Department of Transportation.

"This funding advances a project that is restoring and enhancing a facility that has played a vital role in public transportation for more than a century," said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Department of Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. "A project of this magnitude would be impossible to accomplish without federal assistance, so we are grateful for the hard work of our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. that fights so effectively for public transportation funding."

The project was divided into three phases, with the second phase nearing completion. Work includes structural and roof repairs, restoration of the exterior copper cladding, a replica reconstruction of the original clock tower, a new ferry service waiting room and restoration of five of the six original ferry slips. Construction started in 2004 and is expected to be completed in early 2010.

"Thousands of New Jerseyans rely on ferries daily to get to and from work. This project will go a long way toward giving commuters another safe, easy and convenient way to get to work and home again without being stuck in their cars. With such high gas prices, we must pursue smart options for passengers, like ferries, to help us get cars off the roads, benefit the environment and reduce our reliance on foreign oil," said U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg.

"The Hoboken Terminal is an essential intermodal center where commuters can conveniently move between the ferry, NJ TRANSIT or PATH trains," said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. "This project, which I was proud to secure funding for along with Sen. Lautenberg, will pay dividends by ensuring convenient transportation to employment, cultural and recreational destinations for thousands of New Jersey residents and visitors. I am happy to have Rep. Sires as a partner in the House to ensure we continue to support these important projects that benefit New Jersey."

Congressman Albio Sires, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he will work to re-authorize the SAFETEA-LU funding program, scheduled to expire in FY 2009. "I will be working to re-authorize this key federal program to assure continued funding of this and other vital transportation projects in New Jersey," Sires said. "In this case, the funding not only preserves a piece of New Jersey history, but also sustains a bustling transit hub that plays an important role in the regional economy."

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority recently approved the $10 million allocation for the Hoboken Terminal project. "As the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Northern New Jersey tasked with ensuring that federal transportation dollars are spent wisely, the NJTPA understands the importance of the Hoboken Terminal as a multimodal transit hub in the most densely populated county in New Jersey," said NJTPA Chairman Susan Zellman.

"The restoration project is advancing toward the third phase that will complete the construction of the ferry building," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. "When the project is completed in 2010, we will restore ferry service at the terminal’s original slips for the first time since 1967."

Project funding sources include the federal government, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the state of New Jersey. Key project elements include:

  • Reconstruction of a portion of the building’s substructure and superstructure.
  • Construction of ferry service ticket offices and a waiting area.
  • Restoration of the copper fascia and lighting on the exterior of the building.
  • Waterproofing and insulating the exterior walls near the ferry slips.
  • Replacing the clock tower with a replica of the original.
  • Restoring the interior finishes of the ferry terminal area.
  • Performing utility and marine work to support the new ferry operation.

Hoboken Terminal currently provides travelers an array of transit options including commuter rail, light rail, PATH and bus service. More than 50,000 people use the terminal each weekday. Ferry service at a temporary facility was reintroduced in 1989, but the current project will restore service at the original ferry slips.

The Beaux-Arts terminal was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1907. It was added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1973.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 865,000 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 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.