Governor Says $2.1 Billion Needed for Newark Airport’s Monorail

(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called for a new monorail at Newark Liberty International Airport, whose $2.1 billion cost would outstrip the replacement of a decaying century-old train bridge that links commuters to New York City.

The first-term Democrat said he will push the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, to replace the monorail. The authority, which operates on bridge and tunnel tolls and port fees, in 2015 authorized spending $40 million to study a new monorail.

Governor Says $2.1 Billion Needed for Newark Airport’s Monorail

AirTrain, the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) line that carries 11 million passengers a year among terminals, opened in 1996 with a designed life of 25 years. Maintenance over the next decade will cost $400 million, Murphy said at a news conference at the airport, one of the busiest in the U.S. and crucial to the New York City-area economy.

“When AirTrain breaks down, as it all too often does, Newark Liberty simply cannot function as it should,” Murphy said.

Murphy and New Jersey’s federal elected officials also are seeking U.S. government funds to replace the Portal Bridge on the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus, where malfunctions can disrupt New Jersey Transit commuter and Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor, the busiest passenger-rail route. That project cost has a $1.5 billion estimate.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.