The New Jersey Department of Transportation's  closure of a lane on a highly traveled bridge in North Jersey due to cracks in its support structure could cause headaches for commuters on Thursday morning.

 

Route 3 bridge over the Hackensack River (Google Street View)

The right lane of the Route 3 bridge over the Hackensack River eastbound has been closed and the left lane will be closed to heavy trucks.The span's two center lanes will be unaffected.

New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams warns commuters heading toward the Lincoln Tunnel to allow extra time, especially on Thursday morning when many will be unaware of the sudden lane restrictions.

"This lane closure is at one of the most crucial, heavily used sections of highway in the region," said Williams, noting that drivers from Routes 17, 46 80 and the Garden State Parkway as well as the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike all use that section of Route 3 to get into New York.

The bridge has been a concern to safety inspectors since October, when engineers performed a series of inspections and tests. The Department of Transportation obtained test results Tuesday that showed cracks had developed in two sections of a long steel beam that supports the bridge's main span.

The DOT anticipates the work taking two weeks to complete.

The news comes one day after state Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox called for immediate safety inspections on every bridge in the state.

Williams said there are no real good alternatives to get to the Lincoln Tunnel. He said taking I-280 east to the northbound Turnpike eastern spur or I-80 east to the southbound Turnpike eastern spur will work.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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