USA: New York-New Jersey Port Authority has awarded a $6·4m contract to HNTB to study the proposed PATH metro extension to Newark Liberty International Airport. The three-year contract aims to determine a more precise cost estimate for the project, currently put at $1·5bn.

A Port Authority study first recommended the project in 2012, and it is included in the $27·6bn 10-year capital plan adopted in February. A request for proposals was issued on September 26. Construction could begin in 2018 and is expected to take five years to complete.

The extension would run alongside the existing Northeast Corridor main line alignment from Newark Penn Station to the airport’s main line station. This would become an interchange between PATH, AirTrain monorail and NJ Transit services. Ridership is forecast at 3 000 passengers/day per direction.

The contract is funded from the Port Authority’s 2015 Capital Budget, approved on December 10. This also includes $35m to modernise PATH stations and $28m to build a rail freight facility at Greenville Yard in Jersey City.