Newark Penn Station, Trenton Transit Centers progress with contract awards

Jan. 11, 2022
NJ Transit’s Board of Directors awarded the first contract for the Newark Penn Station modernization project, as well as a contract for the Trenton Transit Center.

New Jersey Transit’s (NJ Transit) Board of Directors moved two facility projects forward with the awarding of separate contracts.

AECOM Technical Services, Inc., was awarded a $1.9-million contract for all design and construction support phases of the Trenton Transit Center enhancement project and Parsons Transportation Group was awarded a $9.2 million professional services contract for the restoration and renovation of Newark Penn Station.

Trenton Transit Center

A station has existed on the site of Trenton Transit Center going back to 1863 with new stations built to replace the old, with the most recent rebuild occurring in 2008. NJ Transit has also upgraded the main station entrances and pedestrian overpass at the hub.

The contract awarded to AECOM is part of the $29-million project to rehabilitate two existing wooden platforms with more durable concrete, replace the associated canopies, elevators and escalators. The project also includes converting a low-level platform into a fully accessible high-level platform with elevator access.

NJ Transit was awarded a $18.2 million State of Good Repair Grant from the Federal Railroad Administration for the project that will increase customer safety and convenience, increase capacity, reduce maintenance costs and mitigate platform congestion.

“NJ Transit is pleased to be advancing significant improvements at one of our state’s most essential multi-modal transit hubs,” said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “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.”

Newark Penn Station

The contract awarded for the Newark Penn Station work is a first for NJ Transit and covers professional services to perform Master Planning, Design Services and Construction Support Services as part of a long-term project. The board also approved funding for Phase One of the contract, which includes the preparation of a Master Plan and completion of a 10 percent concept design.

Parsons will create construction plans as part of the master contract that address both state-of-good-repair needs of the stations, as well as long-term capital improvements, including how to better integrate the station to meet the needs of its surrounding communities.

“This contract marks the next big step in our efforts to restore and update Newark Penn Station, honoring its past as a cultural focal point and ensuring that it remains a vibrant hub for New Jersey residents and visiting travelers,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the station would receive a $190 million investment to renovate and upgrade the station, including $30 million for renovations and restorations followed by $160 million over the next five years.

“Newark Penn Station is one of the most significant transportation hubs in the Northeast, and a gateway to downtown Newark,” said Gov. Murphy. “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.”

A Request for Proposals for the master planning contract was issued in August 2021. NJ Transit explains the proposals received were evaluated based on their ability to ensure the station features amenities and functionality that will meet the modern-day expectations of both customers traveling through the station, as well as those of residents and businesses.

“Newark Penn Station is one of our city’s greatest assets. It is a historic structure, a brilliant expression of architecture, and a critical element of our city’s economy and transportation network,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.

As part of the Phase One contract, Parsons will utilize a team consisting of Grimshaw Architects and Steer Group to lead the Newark Penn Station Master Planning and Design portion.

“Under Gov. Murphy’s leadership, NJ Transit continues to aggressively advance the large-scale overhaul and revitalization of this indispensable, multi-modal transit hub,” said Corbett. “Thanks to the board action today, this award will build on the extensive work already underway to restore this vital transit center to its rightful place as one of the crown jewels of New Jersey.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.