A New Newark Penn? $59M from feds will go long way toward that aim

They will be able to replace or update 11 elevators and 17 escalators. Got it.

Some of the old benches that are in Newark Penn Station? Those can be replaced, too.

That’s the good news.

The better news: The $59 million appropriated for Newark Penn Station out of what officials are calling a historic $4.5 billion package of federal funding in public transportation for New Jersey and the region may be enough to modernize a station that has long needed a facelift.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka told reporters at the media event that the benefits go way beyond the cosmetics.

“This Penn Station here changes and when it changes, people’s lives change throughout the region and the state but also in the city of Newark,” he said.

The biggest part of the funding, which came courtesy of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, includes $3.8 billion for the Hudson River Tunnel – as well as $300 million to rehabilitate the 90-year-old, six-track Dock Bridge over the Passaic River.

The funding means that Gateway Development Commission now has all of its funding.

Senator Cory Booker said it’s a great day for the region, the state and the city of Newark.

“This large round of mass transit investments will pay dividends for generations to come, helping push Gateway toward completion and strengthening regional connectivity,” he said. “Thanks to this funding, we will upgrade decades-old infrastructure and help modernize our mass transit system, to the benefit of the lives of millions of commuters.

“These investments will also spur economic growth and create thousands of jobs for New Jerseyans. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration and congressional colleagues to deliver funding to rebuild New Jersey’s and our region’s transportation infrastructure.”