Essex County News

Officials Call for Major Improvements, Changes to Newark Liberty International Airport

Mayor Ras J. Baraka called for money to be invested into redesigning Newark's airport with easy rail access to allow the city to serve as a global and regional hub. Credits: Heather Kays
South Ward Council Member John Sharpe James supports the plan to redesign and make changes and improvements to Newark's airport. He said the project is of vital importance to the South Ward. Credits: Heather Kays
Regional Plan Association President Tom Wright discussed the details of his organization’s plan to upgrade airports in the region in hopes of creating “economic powerhouses” including in Newark. Credits: Heather Kays

NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras J. Baraka, South Ward Council Member John Sharpe James, and Regional Plan Association (RPA) President Tom Wright on Monday held a press conference to discuss the association’s report calling for upgrades to the region’s airports.

The report, entitled “Upgrading to World Class: The Future of the Region’s Airports Revisited,” calls for major expansions and changes at Newark Liberty International Airport, including a new transit hub. According to RPA officials and Baraka the proposed changes would have “massive impact” on Newark’s economy. 

Regional Plan Association is an independent, not-for-profit civic organization that develops and promotes ideas to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency and quality of life of the New York metropolitan area. The report is a supplemental document to RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan which was issued in Fall of 2018.

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The report contains multi-decade recommendations for all the region’s airports. The idea is to allow for the continued prosperity of the region in the face of problems such as aging infrastructure, capacity constraints, and sea level rise.

RPA officials said they estimate to completely redo Newark airport would cost $28 billion dollars or $750 million dollars annually over a forty-year period. Eventually another runway would be added, according to RPA’s plans.

“How Atlanta’s airport is to that region is absolutely what Newark Airport should be to this region,” said Baraka, during the press conference held at City Hall. “What is missing is the investment. The kind of investment in the infrastructure and the transportation infrastructure that we need. The state government here in New Jersey, the state government in New York, the federal government are under investing in infrastructure. It’s a mistake. It’s a huge mistake. It’s not only a mistake because some of the things are very, very old but it is a mistake because it under utilizes the capacity of the transportation infrastructure that we have in this community. If they invested more in the airport we would be able to see what’s being presented to us today. It would have an awesome impact not just on the regionally economy but in Newark specifically. More residents getting employed, more opportunities for residents to have access to the airport, raising the economy in the city of Newark which in turn raises the economy in the State of New Jersey.”

Baraka said that it is vital that the “plans and dreams” presented by RPA need to be supported and fought for so the upgrades can come to fruition.

South Ward Council Member John Sharpe James stressed the importance of this project to the South Ward.

“The airport is our biggest economic driver in that area. I am pleased to have been working with RPA and the Mayor driving redevelopment in the South Ward,” said James. “Currently we have a planned PATH train extension, a new station at the airport. This project before you actually would bring that station, would bring the airport closer to that station to involve more community access. Right now, from the street you cannot walk to Newark Airport. This project with the new station would allow individuals to be dropped off at the street level and engage in various forms of transportation.”

RPA’s President Tom Wright said there is not enough progress taking place in the way of adding capacity and building airports to become the “economic powerhouses” that they should be to the area.

“What we are doing is we are laying out a vision that we think is very provocative and we hope compelling for people,” said Wright. “But what this does is shows that it can be done.”  

Wright said serious reforms need to take place at the Port Authority, so the necessary funding could be freed up and used for this project. He said the Port Authority needs to figure out how to make its seaports profitable like they are in other parts of the world and the Port Authority needs to make other departments self-sustaining rather than using the enormous profits made by airports continuously to fund and subsidize other projects and operations.

Wright called for the business, the civic and the public sectors to come together so that the necessary decisions will be made to upgrade the region’s airports.

“Our region’s economy is thriving, and air passenger travel is booming,” said Wright. “But all three of our major airports suffer from some of the worst delays in the nation and traffic getting to and from our airports. We need to invest to build a modern airport system for our growing region. This includes expanding runway capacity, providing transit connections, and continuing to improve the customer experience.”

The report calls for several recommendations for Newark Liberty International Airport. These include:

  • Creating a Northeast Rail Corridor (NEC) terminal headhouse, thereby shifting the front door of the airport to the NEC and creating the region’s premier intermodal facility that would be served by an extended PATH, RPA’s proposed regional rail service connecting to all parts of the region and Amtrak
  • Creating an additional runway to serve up to 69 million annual air passengers by 2060
  • Building a new midfield concourse with secure-side AirTrain connection to the NEC headhouse
  • Extend the airport south to create an expanded southern cargo area
  • Planning for how to harden airport to survive up to six feet of sea level rise

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South Orange Police Blotter: Robbery Reported on South Orange Avenue

June 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of June 16

Robbery - An Alpha, NJ resident reported that he was robbed on Sunday, June 3, at approximately 12:30 a.m. while he was walking on South Orange Avenue near Scotland Road. The victim stated that he was approached by three unknown actors who punched him and knocked him to the ground. The actors then stole his cell phone and wallet ...

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June 4, 2018, Burglary; Sometime during the daytime hours, a home on the 100 block of Midland Blvd was forcibly entered.  At the time of the report it was unknown what the proceeds were.

June 4, 2018; Thefts; During the overnight hours a metal rack was stolen from outside of a business on the 200 block of Elmwood Ave.

June 5, 2018; Motor Vehicle Theft; During the overnight hours, a van ...

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June 14, 2018

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Upcoming Events


Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

Spiotta Park, South Orange

Jersey Swamp Cats in Downtown After Sundown

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, June 26, 6:30 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Memoir Writing Class at Millburn Library

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, June 29, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Lecia Bianca Jewels Creates a Bridge to Make Bloomfield Center the Next Style Destination

June 16, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Center renaissance continues as Lecia Bianca Jewels becomes a style destination on main thoroughfare in this Essex County Community. Lecia Clay, owner of the boutique, describes her jewelry as 'bridge jewelry,' - pieces that are in a space between costume jewelry and fine jewelry, while having value. 

'Lecia Bianca' is the ...

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With three routes to choose from—a four-mile route around the ...

VIDEO: Westfield Police Show Love for Fallen Detective’s Son at Middle School Graduation

June 21, 2018

ROSELLE PARK, NJ — When his dad, a Westfield police detective who died last month, couldn’t be at young Eric Lieberman’s eighth grade graduation from Roselle Park Middle School, 16 members of the Westfield Police Department instead walked across the stage to give him a hug Tuesday night.

“What a beautiful tribute to both my son and his father,” said his ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Maplewood Department of Public Works Employment Opportunity: Maintenance Worker

June 19, 2018


Title: Maintenance Worker – Parks/Shade Tree Dept.

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Jersey Swamp Cats in Downtown After Sundown Friday, June 22

Dance under the stars to the swingin’ sounds of the Jersey Swamp Cats when the boys bring their patented piano and guitar driven blues and vintage rock’n roll to Spiotta Park, as part of the Sounds In Spiotta Park DAS concert series on Friday, June 22!

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Spiotta Park, located on Village Plaza and South Orange Avenue.


Founder of Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award

Each year the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards highlight the spirit of civic engagement among New Jersey’s 1.5 million volunteers and provide Jefferson Awards medals in 22 categories of volunteer service.   

The 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards presentation ceremony and celebration of volunteerism was held at the War ...