The Pulaski Skyway's northbound lanes have been closed for a 2-year, $1.8 billion rehabilitation project. Now New Jersey's Transportation commissioner Jamie Fox says newly-discovered damage to steel support beams will add additional cost and construction time to the project.

Here are five important things you need to know.



1. What exactly is closed?

James S. Simpson, former commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Transportation, talks about the loss of structural integrity of the rusted-through webbing of a support I-beam under the road surface of the Pulaski Skyway (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Route 1 & 9 northbound between Newark and Jersey City will remain closed to all traffic. The southbound lanes will be open. A few other entrance and exit ramps will also be closed including:

  •  The Broadway entrance ramp to the southbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway;
  •  The Kearny southbound exit and northbound entrance ramp; and
  •  The exit ramp from eastbound Ferry Street (Route 1&9 T) to the New Jersey Turnpike Toll Plaza at Interchange 15E and the exit ramp from eastbound Ferry Street (Route 1&9 T) to Doremus Avenue.

2. What's the best route around the closure?

 

  • Truck Route 1 & 9 will pick up extra traffic and existing traffic lights will be adjusted to accommodate the volume.
  • The New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay-Hudson Bay County Extension (I-78) eastbound shoulder will be available as a travel lane during the morning and afternoon commutes. Electronic arrows will be installed above the shoulder to indicate its status. The speed limit will be 45 MPH.
  • NJDOT safety patrols will be positioned to quickly respond to accidents,breakdowns and other incidents.
  • NJDOT will not open the Lincoln Highway Bridge over the Hackensack River for smaller craft during the morning and afternoon commutes. It will still open for larger vessels.
Arrows to be positioned over the shoulder of the NJ Turnpike Extension (NJ DOT)

3. What are my public transportation options?

PATH, NJ Transit will be increasing service on both the rails and on its buses.

TRAINS:

  • 2 extra trips mornings and afternoons on the Morris and Essex Line between the Summit and Hoboken terminals.
  • 1 extra trip mornings and afternoons on the North Jersey Coast Line between Bay Head and Hoboken
  • Additional seating on the Raritan Valley Line
  • PATH will increase the frequency of departures between Newark Penn Station and increase capacity between Jersey City and New York City

BUSES:

  • NJ Transit has already introduced a new bus line along Route 22 during peak-hours between Watchung and Newark Penn Station

NJ DOT is working on the possibility of a new ferry service from Atlantic Highlands to Jersey City.

NJ DOT is working on the possibility of a Park and Ride in Newark near I-78 at Haynes Ave with a shuttle to Jersey City.

4. What else can I do to avoid delays?

An electronic sign on I-95 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania warns of the Pulaski Skyway, an example of how surrounding states are working to inform drivers of the project (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

NJDOT suggests joining a carpool or vanpool, adjusting your travel times to avoid peak morning & evening commutes and to telecommute or work from another site

5. What work is being done?

The current closures are part of an overall seven-year-project, which started in 2013 and includes the replacement of the 82-year-old Skyway's deck, strengthening the steel superstructure, repairing ramps, increasing the Skyway’s ability to withstand an earthquake and improving drainage and lighting. According to the NJ DOT, decades of exposure to water, salt and harsh weather has caused severe corrosion to important steel bridge deck components. Final completion of the project, with repainting, is scheduled for 2020.

Listen to a conversation with former NJ DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson at the inception of the project.

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