Newark Penn Station to get $190 million makeover from state

Newark Penn Station is getting a planned $190 million facelift.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the effort Tuesday in front of the 85-year-old building.
“We’re here today because we know this historic station must not just be a symbol of a past golden age, but the harbinger of the next one to come,” Murphy said.
The first segment will cost about $30 million and begin immediately. It will include a scrubbing of the classic limestone front exterior, restoration of benches in the main waiting room, new LED lighting, improved drainage in the bus area and an improved airflow system.
"We'll soon be working on a historic tile installation, replacing cracked tiles in the stairways and along escalators,” said NJ Transit president and CEO Kevin Corbett.
Future work will focus on renovating train platforms, elevators and escalators and creating more open space in the station and adding more dining and shopping.
The station, built in the Classical Revival and Art Deco styles, is a nexus for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains, Newark's light rail line and is the city's main bus station. About 50,000 people per day pass through it, making it among the 10 busiest rail stations in the country.
The money for the renovations will come from the state, but Murphy and transportation officials are separately optimistic that the incoming Biden administration will loosen up federal dollars for long-stalled, larger-scale projects like a new Hudson River tunnel.
Murphy said he spoke to President-elect Joe Biden over the weekend and is “extremely hopeful” those projects will be able to move forward.
"And Gateway was a specific topic. He's been a big believer in it from day one. As you know, he's lived his life on the rails,” Murphy said.
NJ Transit’s board of directors is set to vote on Wednesday on an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for the new Portal Bridge.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.