April 5, 2012

N.Y./N.J. Port Authority to replace rail station for $256M

A gleaming new glass-and-steel Harrison Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PATH) rail station is now on track to replace the currently deteriorating 76-year-old facility after PATH commissioners authorized key steps to move the project forward.

The board of director's action to approve $256 million in project authorizations enables PATH officials to award contracts for professional and advisory services to finalize the station's design, hire a construction manager and acquire outstanding properties. The construction portion of the project is estimated at $153.8 million and this expedited process will shave two years off the expected timeframe. The move will help meet the city's growing residential and commercial needs, as well as those related to Red Bulls Stadium.

The city of Harrison's ongoing renaissance, led by Mayor Raymond McDonough, means significantly increased passenger use of the existing station, which was built in 1936 and is unable to be refurbished to meet the city's 21st Century needs. The new station will accommodate increased ridership at Harrison and eventually along the entire Newark-World Trade Center PATH line, with the addition of longer platforms to accommodate 10-car trains instead of the current eight-car limit.

Last year, PATH completed its three-year phase-in of 340 new railcars, a $744 million program that made the agency one of the nation's newest fleets after years of being one of the oldest. The $580 million computerized signal system will replace an aging, mechanized system and allow PATH trains to run closer together while maintaining safety requirements. Running trains more efficiently, combined with the 10-car platforms on the Newark-WTC line, will allow PATH to increase future ridership by more than 20%.

This is important given that the Red Bulls soccer has brought increased ridership to Harrison's PATH station over the past two years and various developers are now planning significant residential and commercial construction projects within the city.


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