The roughly $60 million project that began last summer now heads into its second phase.
State and city officials broke ground Wednesday on construction of a new station building at the Newark site serviced by Amtrak and SEPTA.
Project manager Mark Tudor says it will replace the current exposed platform.
“In the building itself there’s going to be security, there’s going to be ticketing, and a waiting area along with bathrooms,” he said.
Gov. John Carney joined others in praising the project’s contribution to UD’s developing STAR campus, which they characterized as a prime example of the state’s new economy.
“This is an economic development prize for the state of Delaware,” he said. “It works even better when you have a multi-modal transportation system that feeds the site.”
The nearly $8 million contract for phase II was awarded to Bancroft Construction. This second phase is expected to be finished late next summer.
Work on the Newark Regional Transportation Center got underway last summer with parking and an access road.
Tom Moritz of Amtrak painted the project as part of a national trend.
“We have entered a bit of a renaissance with more and more people coming back to inner city passenger and commuter rail,” he said. “The reality is when people come back to our stations they are often greeted with aging facilities that lack some of the basic customer amenities. Here in Newark, that will no longer be the case.”
The project is funded in part with a $10 million TIGER grant from the US department of Transportation.
This grant money must be spent by this fall. Project manager Mark Tudor says the project is on track to meet that deadline.
The last phase of construction will be an ADA-complaint raised platform, track modifications and a pedestrian overpass.
The transportation center is scheduled to be completed in 2021.