Newark Penn Station to get $190 million makeover

Newark's Penn Station is getting a planned $190 million facelift. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced the effort Tuesday in front of the 85-year-old building. 

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. 

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. 

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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

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Murphy said he spoke to President-elect Joe Biden over the weekend and is "extremely hopeful" those projects will be able to move forward.