Date: Aug 16, 2013
Press Release Number: 83-2013
Project on track to replace deteriorating 77-year old facility with gleaming new station
Officials from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey today welcomed Governor Chris Christie to the site where the Depression-era Harrison PATH rail station is being transformed into a 21st century glass-and-steel transit facility as part of Harrison’s ongoing renaissance project.
Harrison’s new PATH station will accommodate the city’s growing residential and commercial ridership needs, while also serving as a gateway to Red Bull Arena. The new station will allow for increased travel on the entire Newark-World Trade Center PATH line with the addition of longer platforms that can accommodate 10-car trains instead of the current eight car limit.
Governor Christie toured the site this morning and received updates on the project’s progress from top Port Authority officials and PATH staff, Harrison Mayor Raymond J. McDonough and members of the Township Council, as hundreds of regional construction workers looked on.
The expansive initiative, which coincides with Harrison’s burgeoning residential and business growth, is expected to create more than 450 jobs while generating more than $344 million in regional economic activity. The work will continue in stages without interrupting rail service, and the project is expected to be complete by 2017.
“As commuter ridership and transportation needs grow, we must continue to make necessary infrastructure modernization investments,” said Governor Christie. “This much-needed PATH project represents another positive step in making Harrison a vibrant, mixed-use commuter transit hub while spurring community revitalization, job creation and business investment in Harrison and the region.”
“Investment to modernize the 105-year-old PATH rail system has been a vital Port Authority priority in recent years and replacing the aging Harrison station is a cornerstone of our efforts,’’ said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “It is essential that we continue efforts to enhance mass-transit ridership in our congested region, with our new PATH trains, updated stations and computerized track signal equipment.’’
“PATH is a key link between the states of New Jersey and New York for more than 70 million passengers annually, and it is essential the system is brought up to 21st century transportation standards,’’ said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “Today is another example of the commitment of Governor Christie and the Port Authority to achieving that goal. Our riders deserve nothing less.”
The existing Harrison PATH station opened in 1936 and was not suitable for renovation because it was too outmoded for the city’s current and future ridership needs. The new station’s sleek, modern, glass-and-steel design will fit the surrounding area’s redevelopment, as it transforms from an industrial warehouse area to a blossoming commercial and residential center.
Station upgrades are only one part of the Port Authority’s comprehensive PATH modernization program. In recent years, PATH has overhauled its entire fleet of rail cars, transforming it from one of the nation’s oldest fleets to one of the newest by putting 350 brand new cars onto the tracks. Additionally, a new $580 million computerized signal system is being installed along the line’s 43 miles of track, replacing antiquated mechanical signals.
PATH averages more than 250,000 weekday and 200,000 weekend passenger trips. PATH set a record of 76.6 million passengers in 2011 - the busiest year since the Port Authority took over the bankrupt Hudson and Manhattan Railroad in 1962. PATH was on track to set a new ridership record in 2012, but fell short after Superstorm Sandy severely disrupted service late last year.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.