Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

The Bergen Record – New Jersey’s top lawmakers joined top officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Wednesday to break ground on a new terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The $2.7 billion Terminal One project will give a modern look and a more efficient layout to the 43 million passengers who use the airport each year.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the project is the largest single investment the Port Authority has ever made in New Jersey.

“This is really a huge day for the state of New Jersey,” he said, before he and other dignitaries threw shovelfuls of ceremonial dirt.

Sweeney was joined by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex and Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-Newark.

The sprawling bi-state agency, which has a budget larger than that of five states, has a number of big projects under construction or in development, including new facilities at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports, a rebuilt midtown bus terminal and a rehabilitation of the George Washington Bridge.

Newark’s Terminal One will replace the 45-year-old Terminal A. When finished in 2022, it will host 33 gates and be as large as 1 million square feet.

Terminal One will double the number of passengers Terminal A was designed to handle. A new multilevel parking garage will have space for 3,000 cars, and a new walkway will connect the terminal with the AirTrain, giving passengers access to Amtrak and NJ Transit.

“It’s the engine that could,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.

Port Authority officials host a ceremonial groundbreaking for new Terminal One at Newark Liberty International Airport

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole (9th from L), NJ’s Senate President Steve Sweeney (5th from L) and other officials do the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of new Terminal One in Newark Liberty International Airport on 10/

Newark is one of the country’s oldest major airports, having opened in 1928. The Port Authority assumed management in 1948. Most of the current terminal facilities were built in 1973.

“We’re committed to rebuilding the legacy infrastructure,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.

The current configuration of Terminal A has proved inconvenient for passengers, with long check-in lines, cumbersome security screening and limited amenities.

Terminal One will funnel passengers from check-in to the gate more efficiently.

Terminal A was designed for 9 million passengers a year, but last year served more than 11 million.

The Port Authority projects 14.1 million passengers will use Terminal One in 2032. The initial 33 gates will be able to serve 13.6 million passengers a year, but the new terminal could be expanded to 45 gates, with room for 19.6 million passengers.

The T-shaped terminal will provide more space for passengers to check in, with the option to check their own bags, and 18 security screening lanes.

The project will also reconfigure the access roads and curbside areas, with more room for taxis and buses.

The new terminal will most benefit United Airlines, which is the largest user of Terminal A’s 29 gates and the dominant carrier serving Newark.

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