Newark Penn Station is being restored and NJ Transit wants your thoughts about the $191M plan

Published: Aug. 03, 2022

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A restored wooden bench in Newark Penn Station's waiting room is a taste of things to come in a multi-million dollar rehabilitation of the station.

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NJ Transit riders who use Newark Penn Station can soon tell agency officials their ideas and ask questions about a $191 million planned restoration and rehabilitation of the historic train station.

The first of three public meetings will be held online from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 9. Registration can also be completed online. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Newark Penn Station is one of three major transit terminals scheduled to see major work and upgrades with funding from the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget.

At the virtual meeting, NJ Transit officials will introduce and detail the work proposed under the project. The public can participate by phone, tablet or computer, and ask questions and share their thoughts with the project team.

All members of the public, including Newark Penn Station customers, Newark residents, business owners, visitors and other stakeholders are invited to participate.

The budget provides $191 million in funding for the continued restoration and rehabilitation of Newark’s Penn Station over five years, a project announced by Gov. Phil Murphy on Dec. 9, 2020. Some of the restoration and upgrade of the station’s art deco 1930s-era waiting room began before the announcement.

Work has already started on the original waiting room floors, including refinishing the station’s original wooden benches, followed by refurbishing restrooms and escalators, updating the heating and ventilation systems, conversion of freight elevators for passenger use and work on station platforms.

This project builds on, and updates, a 1994 restoration of the historic Penn Station waiting room done by NJ Transit that uncovered some of its artistic features that had been obscured by decades of grime. These features date to when the Pennsylvania Railroad built the station in 1935.

Also included is roof replacement, lighting upgrades, and other interior and exterior improvements, NJ Transit officials said. This is part of a much larger project to update Newark Penn Station proposed in NJ Transit’s capital plan.

The additional budget funding for the station work comes from the New Jersey Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund, created by legislation that adds $814 million to NJ Transit’s capital budget for specific projects. That fund pays for capital construction projects on a pay-as-you-go basis to avoid increasing state debt.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-08-04 03:10:59 -0700