NEWARK, NJ – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey kicked off an $84.2 million capital project this week to renovate and upgrade one of Newark Liberty International Airport’s major runways. 

The project is planned to generate more than $144 million in economic activity for the region and create 783 total jobs. The revamped 4R-22L runway at Newark Liberty will feature modernized electrical lighting, infrastructure enhancements and new signage, according to Port Authority officials. 

“This project will provide a welcome boost across the region by creating badly needed new jobs and energizing the economy as we continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said. 

Before the pandemic, the major runway served as a primary landing strip at Newark Liberty, handling nearly 47% of the airport’s flight activity. When it received rehabilitation work in 2012, the runway showed surface deterioration due to normal wear associated with use. Work on this project is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2022.

As one of the nation’s busiest airports, Newark Liberty serves as a key international gateway to New Jersey and the region. In 2019, the airport handled 46.5 million air passengers, according to Port Authority officials. 

The project’s scope also includes the milling and repaving with asphalt of the runway surface as well as the renovation of runway shoulders and intersecting taxiways. The renovations will also be coupled with the complete replacement of the electrical infrastructure and adding new light fixtures. In addition, the project will provide totally new pavement and new signage across the runway.

“Maintaining runways in top-flight condition is the lifeblood of our airports and essential to keeping our facilities operating at the highest level,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “We are committed to ensuring that all of our airports continue to provide best-in-class facilities, services and operations for our customers and our airlines.”

The work will be staged in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines to minimize operational impacts, which will occur primarily at night and on weekends, officials said. A full closure of the runway is scheduled for July 6 through Oct. 1 with the FAA and the airlines directing flight activity to the other runways at Newark Liberty during this period.

To accommodate future passenger growth at the airport, the Port Authority also embarked on a transformational project, beginning in 2017 with the start of construction for a new $2.7 billion terminal to replace the existing Terminal A. 

The project also includes a new state-of-the-art, consolidated rent-a-car center facility and expanded parking garage, which will accommodate multiple rental car agencies at one convenient location and provide 2,750 additional public parking spaces adjacent to the new terminal. 

In February, the Port Authority moved one step closer to advancing a $2 billion plan to replace Newark Liberty International Airport’s aging monorail following the release of a draft environmental assessment. The project will work in conjunction with the Terminal A project. 

“A modern best-in-class airport must have an appealing, reliable best-in-class rail mass transit link that will eliminate headaches during travel, not cause them,” Cotton said in February. “This new AirTrain system at Newark Liberty will complement the Port Authority’s $2.7 billion investment to replace Terminal A, currently underway, and serve as an important economic contributor to New Jersey and the region."