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NJ TRANSIT Advances Newark Penn Station Redesign

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, NJ TRANSIT continues to advance the $190-million renovation and revitalization of Newark Penn Station with today’s release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Master Planning, Conceptual, Preliminary, and Final Design, and Construction Assistance Services. In December, Governor Phil Murphy joined NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett, community leaders and municipal, county and state officials to announce this major investment that will breathe new life into the 86-year-old station and it’s surrounding area in the downtown of the State’s largest city.

“Newark Penn Station is a focal point of the Northeast Corridor and is a gateway to our state for many travelers,” said Governor Murphy. “This major renovation and restoration project is an important step in the continuing revitalization of Newark. With this significant investment, our state’s largest city will greet commuters and travelers in a manner worthy of it’s great history and stature.”

“The release of this RFP helps us ensure that the enduring legacy of Newark Penn Station be protected while simultaneously improving and renovating the station to fit current customer needs,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Thanks to Governor Murphy’s dedication to improving public transportation in New Jersey we are closer to restoring and modernizing this timeless transportation marvel than ever before.”  

“Through the release of this RFP, we will transform Newark Penn Station – building on the significant work already underway as part of master plan that focuses on both state-of-good-repair work and major infrastructure improvements to enhance every aspect of the customer experience,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT thanks both Governor Murphy and Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti for recognizing the urgent need to restore Newark Penn – one of the busiest, most historic, and most vital multi-modal transportation hubs in our region – to its former glory.”

Since its dedication in 1935, Newark Penn Station has been an iconic symbol of both the promise of public transportation and the energy and innovativeness of the city of Newark. This project reimagines this icon, providing customers with a 21st century experience while maintaining the station’s historic grandeur. 

Newark Penn Station is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. This project aims to restore the facility and elevate it to its rightful place as the jewel of the region’s transportation network. The redesign and revitalization will also highlight the station’s historic features and its role as an economic and cultural asset to the City of Newark showcasing its close link to the city’s identity. 

This project will require the installation of updated amenities, pedestrian spaces, and infrastructure improvements to satisfy customer’s needs. Improvements will also feature improvements for a station modernized in the post-COVID world and will orient the station to meet future transportation needs and climate change challenges. The project exemplifies NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to providing the highest quality customer experience at all times.  

NJ TRANSIT seeks proposals from design and construction professionals to restore and modernize Newark Penn Station. The proposals will be judged based on their ability to ensure the station features amenities and functions will meet the modern-day expectations of both customers passing through the station, as well as those of the residents and businesses. This first phase includes a master planning process which will solicit public feedback on the long term future and re-imagining of Newark Penn Station. Proposals shall address contemporary issues such as public health protection, future transportation needs, and climate change challenges associated with the station and its location.

Once a contract is granted NJ TRANSIT intends to enter with a phased approach and will divide the services requirements into various phases. The consultant will perform master planning, conceptual design, design construction documents, and construction plans that address immediate state of good repair needs and long-term capital improvements to Newark Penn Station and present opportunities to better integrate the station within the context of the communities in the surrounding region.

The first phase of renovations will focus on aesthetics such as restoration of the classic benches in the waiting room, installation of brighter lighting, updating of the bathrooms, improved HVAC and air-handling, fresh paint and tile, and a deep clean of the limestone exterior to once again showcase the architecturally significant facade. Longer-term enhancements will focus on improving the station’s openness and overall commuter and visitor experience, including the restoration of the grand waiting hall. 

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