A PATH train en route. (Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)
NEWARK, NJ—Mayor Ras Baraka applauded the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s authorization of planning funds for the first phase of the PATH system extension to Newark Liberty International Airport. Estimated at $1.7 billion, the project is a key component of the Port Authority’s board’s 2017-2026 capital plan and “essential to improved regional rail service for the commuting public,” according to an announcement from the authority.
“I thank the Port Authority commissioners for keeping the PATH extension on track,” Baraka says in a statement issued Sunday evening. “This is another step forward for a project that will have an enormous impact on Newark’s economy and that of the region.”
Currently, the PATH Newark-to-World Trade Center line’s westernmost point is Newark Penn Station. The project will extend the line west through the Dayton Street neighborhood in Newark’s South Ward, ending at the Newark Liberty rail link station. The project would include a new PATH station in Newark’s South Ward Dayton Street neighborhood, a new rail yard facility and modification of existing platforms at Newark Penn Station to accommodate increased passenger flow.
The $57 million in funding approved by the Port’s board at its April 27 meeting will move the project through preliminary design and the required environmental review process. It includes funds for environmental and transportation services, including preliminary engineering work as well as program and project management services.
John Degnan, the Port’s chairman, says the bistate agency is “committed to making critical investments in a transportation network that supports regional growth and meets the demands of the millions of people who live, work and visit the region.” He adds that the planning effort will provide analysis of key components, including ridership data, cost updates and environmental and economic impacts, “to help the agency continue to evaluate the project before moving forward with construction.”
From the standpoint of the city in which the extension will be built, Baraka says that along with spurring housing and economic development of the Dayton neighborhood, “the new South Ward PATH transportation hub will provide increased access to jobs for Newark residents.” Once approved, construction of the PATH line extension is expected to begin in 2020, with full revenue service projected to launch in 2026.