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Safety and traffic upgrades approved

September 16, 2009

NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today authorized a major pedestrian and traffic circulation improvement project at Newark Penn Station that will enhance safety, reduce vehicular congestion, strengthen the historic facility’s connection to an increasingly vibrant downtown business and entertainment district and create an estimated 125 jobs.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded improvements are planned for Alling Street and Raymond Plaza West, which extends along the station’s main entrance from Market Street to Raymond Boulevard. The project area serves pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.


“This improvement project is estimated to create more than 100 jobs while making much needed safety and traffic upgrades to enhance the commute for travelers using this busy transportation hub,” Governor Jon S. Corzine said.  “We continue to invest in similar infrastructure projects involving roads, bridges and schools all across the state to further stimulate the economy and spur job creation opportunities for New Jersey’s hardworking families.”


“Reducing congestion and improving safety around Penn Station will enhance business opportunities in Newark, relieve traffic congestion and boost the regional economy,” stated Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.  “I am pleased that the Recovery Act will help fund improvements at one of New Jersey's most critical mass transit hubs.”


Project elements include a new roundabout on Raymond Plaza West midway between Market Street and Raymond Boulevard, realigning Alling Street near the Market Street intersection and an upgraded plaza at the corner of Market Street and Raymond Plaza West.


Other features include traffic-calming speed tables, in-crosswalk warning lights and increased drop-off and pick-up spaces.  New street lighting, benches, plantings and way-finding signs also are among the improvements, along with integrated traffic signals, a taxi-queuing area and a Greyhound Bus pick-up and drop-off area.


“The significant improvements that we are bringing to Newark Penn Station will make it safer and easier for our customers to access the many transportation options within the station and out on the street,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chairman Stephen Dilts.  “The new level of convenience will promote the use of public transportation, which benefits the environment.”


“Improving pedestrian and vehicular flow at this major NJ TRANSIT facility will make a big difference in the lives of tens of thousands of customers who enter and exit the station every day,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles.  “This project benefits current customers and improves the functionality of the station, helping it to meet future demands that will come with growing ridership.”


The project will be built in phases to minimize inconvenience to pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic, with portions of existing pedestrian and roadway pathways open at all times during the construction phase.  A contract is expected to be awarded during the next month. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2011.  


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.