Thursday, September 17, 2009

NJ TRANSIT to improve Newark Penn Station Plaza

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The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors authorized a major pedestrian and traffic circulation improvement project at Newark Penn Station that will enhance safety, reduce vehicular congestion, strengthen the historic facility's connection to an increasingly vibrant downtown business and entertainment district and create an estimated 125 jobs.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded improvements are planned for Alling Street and Raymond Plaza West, which extends along the station's main entrance from Market Street to Raymond Boulevard. The project area serves pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.

"This improvement project is estimated to create more than 100 jobs while making much needed safety and traffic upgrades to enhance the commute for travelers using this busy transportation hub," Governor Jon Corzine said. "We continue to invest in similar infrastructure projects involving roads, bridges and schools all across the state to further stimulate the economy and spur job creation opportunities for New Jersey's hardworking families."

Project elements include a new roundabout on Raymond Plaza West midway between Market Street and Raymond Boulevard, realigning Alling Street near the Market Street intersection and an upgraded plaza at the corner of Market Street and Raymond Plaza West.

Other features include traffic-calming speed tables, in-crosswalk warning lights and increased drop-off and pick-up spaces. New street lighting, benches, plantings and way-finding signs also are among the improvements, along with integrated traffic signals, a taxi-queuing area and a Greyhound Bus pick-up and drop-off area.

The project will be built in phases to minimize inconvenience to pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic, with portions of existing pedestrian and roadway pathways open at all times during the construction phase. A contract is expected to be awarded during the next month. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2011.

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