Newark Airport’s AirTrain Just Got More Expensive

Newark AirTrain

The revamp of Newark Liberty International Airport’s train system, initially projected to cost $2 billion, is now expected to run a bit higher than that initial estimate.

The AirTrain EWR initiative, which aims to replace the current system accommodating about 30,000 passengers daily at the airport, seems to be facing cost increases beyond its initial $2.05 billion budget. This came to light when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released some preliminary details during preparations for a $1.1 billion debt sale.

“The Port Authority is currently in the procurement process for a system designer for the replacement air train system at Newark Liberty Airport, and will follow with the procurement of the civil engineering firm to complete the project,” said Thomas Pietrykoski, a Port Authority spokesperson. “The outcomes of those procurements will inform the final cost estimate.”

The agency, overseeing several of New York City’s key air and maritime ports, is tackling these additional costs in a few ways: they’re refining designs, potentially scaling back some project elements, and reconsidering expenses on other major projects. However, the exact amount the project might exceed its budget by hasn’t been clarified yet.

The Port Authority, similar to various state and city bodies responsible for public infrastructure development, is grappling with rising expenses as the costs of labor and building materials surge. An index tracking the cost of construction materials has seen a jump of over 30% since the beginning of 2021, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.