NJ Transit awards contracts to modernize Newark Penn Station, Trenton Transit Center

The plan to update and renovate Newark Penn Station — for too long an outdated transportation facility — in August saw New Jersey Transit put out a Request for Proposals for master planning, conceptual, preliminary and final design and construction assistance services for the $190 million project. That request to help modernize the outdated structure is vital to Newark’s revitalization — and it now has a green light.

NJ Transit’s board of directors Monday announced it approved the Newark Penn Station project as well as a project at the opposite end of the state, in Trenton.

Both projects will restore and revitalize each station and give it a modern flair to appeal to the commuters that will take advantage of the organization’s services.

At Newark Penn Station, the project involves an innovative and first-of-its-kind, all-inclusive professional services contract to perform master planning, design services and construction support services as part of a long-term project for the major restoration and renovation of the historic station.

In addition, the board of directors approved funding for phase one of the contract, which includes the preparation of a Master Plan and completion of a 10% concept design.

Construction plans will be created that address state-of-good-repair needs, as well as long-term capital improvements to Newark Penn Station. The first phase of renovations will focus on aesthetics, and longer-term enhancements will focus on improving the station’s openness and overall customer and visitor experience.

As part of the phase one, $9.2 million contract award to Parsons Transportation Group, the company will utilize a team consisting of the world-renowned Grimshaw Architects alongside a strong transit-focused consultant firm, Steer Group, to lead the Newark Penn Station master planning and design portion.

“Newark Penn Station is one of the most significant transportation hubs in the Northeast, and a gateway to downtown Newark,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a prepared statement. “Newark has undergone a historic renaissance in recent years, and our administration is proud to do its part through this historic $190 million investment in revitalizing Newark Penn Station. Newark residents, workers, commuters and visitors deserve a world-class experience when traveling through the station. I am happy to see this project moving ahead and look forward to its completion.”

“The transformation at Gateway complements the vision that NJ Transit has circulated for its mission to revitalize the area around Newark Penn Station,” says John Saraceno Jr., co-founder and managing principal for Onyx Equities. “In our consultations with NJ Transit’s leadership and our neighbors, we have been inspired by the common interest and commitment that the property owners have to not just their own projects, but to the environment that welcomes visitors and residents to Newark’s front door. It is an exciting time that will lead to a new era of street-level engagement that will characterize the city for a generation to come.”

Trenton Transit Center. (NJ Transit)

Separately, NJ Transit’s board awarded a $1.9 million contract to AECOM Technical Services Inc. for all design and construction support phases of the Trenton Transit Center project.

The contract is part of a $29 million effort to rehabilitate two existing platforms, and their associated canopies, elevators and escalators, as well as to convert a low-level platform into a fully accessible high-level platform with elevator access. The project will promote increased customer safety and convenience, increase capacity, reduce maintenance costs and mitigate congestion on platforms.

Kevin Corbett. (File photo)

“NJ Transit is pleased to be advancing significant improvements at one of our state’s most essential multimodal transit hubs,” NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett said. “Ultimately, this project will create a safer, more modern, and more accessible Trenton Transit Center — with additional capacity and convenience for the thousands of customers who use it every day.”

The scope of work on the two island platforms will include the replacement of existing deteriorating wooden platform sections with a more durable concrete platform, the addition of new tactile strips and rub rails, the reconstruction of platform deck joints and the repair of concrete spalls. Deteriorating canopies that were last reconstructed in 1992 will also be restored. The existing low-level platform will be upgraded to a high-level platform with a larger waiting shelter and a new elevator from the concourse above.