Advancing: $190MM Newark (N.J.) Penn Station Redesign

The RFP covers Master Planning (including soliciting public feedback), Conceptual, Preliminary, and Final Design, plus Construction Assistance Services that address immediate state of good repair needs and long-term capital improvements. It follows the state of New Jersey’s December 2020 commitment of project funding.

The 86-year-old, Art Deco-style station, located on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), serves riders of NJ Transit commuter rail, light rail and bus services, as well as Amtrak intercity services and PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid transit. Pre-pandemic, more than 50,000 daily transit customers used the station, which is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The proposals will be judged on their ability to ensure the station features amenities and functions that “meet the modern-day expectations of both customers passing through the station, as well as those of the residents and businesses,” according to Aug. 27 announcement by NJ Transit and the State of New Jersey, Office of the Governor. They should also “address contemporary issues, such as public health protection, future transportation needs, and climate change challenges associated with the station and its location.”

The first phase of the renovation project will focus on aesthetics: restoring classic waiting room benches, installing brighter lighting, updating bathrooms, improving HVAC and air-handling, adding fresh paint and tile, and deep cleaning the limestone exterior. Additionally, bus lanes will receive new lighting and improved drainage, and station directional and way-finding signage will be upgraded. Longer-term enhancements will focus on improving the station’s openness, including restoring the waiting hall.

Some renovations, including cleaning efforts, are already under way.

NJ Transit reported in October that some work had already begun as part of its capital plan: lighting and bathroom upgrades and more ADA elevators.

“Through the release of this RFP, we will transform Newark Penn Station—building on the significant work already under way 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,” NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett said. “NJ Transit thanks both Gov. [Phil] Murphy and [New Jersey Department of Transportation] Commissioner [and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane] 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.”

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