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Project will restore permanent ferry service to historic terminal

September 16, 2009

NEWARK, NJ — Restoration of permanent ferry service to Hoboken Terminal advanced toward completion today, as the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved construction of the third and final phase of a project that will return a portion of the historic building to its original function.  The project is estimated to create or retain approximately 300 jobs.


“By restoring and preserving this historic facility, we are sustaining a vibrant transportation center that plays a vital role in our regional economy,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine.  “More importantly, this project demonstrates our commitment to improving and making investments in our transportation infrastructure while creating jobs that enhance the economic future of New Jersey’s hardworking families.”


“In restoring the Hoboken Ferry Terminal, we are enhancing a key intermodal hub that provides robust transportation services and vital trans-Hudson connections to thousands of New Jersey residents,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Stephen Dilts.


The Board awarded a $29.5 million contract to Hall Construction Company, Inc., of Farmingdale, NJ, for work associated with phase three of the Hoboken Ferry Terminal Rehabilitation project.  In this final phase, construction of the ferry boarding area will be completed, including work on the ferry service ticket offices and waiting area, passenger amenities, utilities and gangways.


“The final phase of the Hoboken Ferry Terminal Rehabilitation project will complete construction of the ferry building, ultimately restoring ferry service to the terminal’s original slips for the first time in more than four decades,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles.


“Hoboken Terminal has played a vital role in public transportation for more than a century, and restoration of the ferry terminal and the related improvements will help ensure the long-term functionality of this intermodal center,” said Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Chairman Anthony R. Coscia.


“The restoration of the original ferry slips at Hoboken Terminal will help preserve the City’s past while paving the way for the future,” said Hoboken Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  “A restored, enhanced facility will ensure that Hoboken Terminal remains a bustling transit hub for generations to come.”


The terminal and its ferry slips were originally built by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in 1907.  Hoboken ferry service was discontinued in 1967 due to declining demand, but was reintroduced in 1989 at a temporary facility at the southern end of the terminal building. 


In early 2003, NJ TRANSIT and the Port Authority entered into an agreement to allow for the restoration of the Hoboken Terminal ferry slips and supporting infrastructure, with the goal of returning ferry service to its original location, while protecting and enhancing the historic elements of the terminal.


The project was divided into three phases.  The first phase, which began in April 2004 and was completed in September 2005, included repairs to the terminal’s substructure and superstructure.


Work on the second phase began in December 2005 and was completed in April 2008, including construction of a 230-foot tall clock tower replica modeled after the original 1907 design by architect Kenneth Murchison.  The second phase also included marine construction of five of the original six ferry slips, as well as restoration of the exterior copper facade and lighting on the river side of the terminal, structural repairs, roof repairs and demolition of the finger piers and wooden fenders.


Construction of the ferry boarding area will be completed in the third and final phase, along with all remaining work necessary to restore ferry service to the original slips. 


The overall project is expected to be completed in 2011.


At the project’s completion, the restoration of ferry service into the original slips will allow for expansion of ferry service and greater flexibility in providing commuter service to Manhattan, as well as improved customer convenience and operational reliability.


Hoboken Terminal currently provides travelers multiple transit options including commuter rail, light rail, PATH and bus service.  More than 50,000 people use the terminal daily. 




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.