Full weekend closures of the Pulaski Skyway have begun. 

Floor beam replacement on the Pulaski Skyway in the Tonnelle Circle area (NJ DOT)

As part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the 83-year-old structure, the Skyway will be closed in both directions starting on Friday night at 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday morning for the next eight weeks through the end of May. The closure includes all on-and-off-ramps including the southbound on-ramp from Tonnelle Circle

Floor beams that go across both the northbound and southbound travel lanes will be replaced during that time, along with new deck panels on the northbound side of the Skyway along the entire length of the bridge.

“These weekend closures were always part of the plan and are similar to the full closure that was successfully done in the summer of 2013," said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, who said that there will be additional closures this summer for the reconstruction of bridge decks this summer.

NJ DOT spokesman Stephen Schapiro says the redecking part of the project is on track for completion despite the harsh winter weather. "We have encountered some challenges in the deck replacement project due to significantly more deteriorated steel that was found once the original deck was removed, and due to the frequent storms and extremely cold winter that we are just getting through," said Schapiro in an email.

As the weather improves and productivity increases,  Schapiro says the project team will evaluate the progress of the project.

The seven-year-project, which started in 2013, 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.The final part of the project -- repainting -- ends the project in 2020.

The following detours will be in place on weekends during the full closure:

Southbound Traffic (toward Newark):

Leaving the Holland Tunnel, motorists will have the following options:

  • Stay to the far right and take the NJ Turnpike-Hudson County Extension to all destinations west and south, including I-78.
  • Stay to the left and follow signs for Route 139 West, then stay left to Route 1&9 Truck southbound towards Newark, Route 7 and I-280.

Motorists should avoid the ramp from Route 139/Covered Roadway that leads into the Tonnelle Circle because of expected heavy congestion.

Local Traffic for Jersey City:

  • Stay to the middle to take Route 139 Upper Roadway and follow signs to Kennedy Boulevard/Jersey City, to best access many local Jersey City locations and other points north (Secaucus).

Northbound Traffic (toward Jersey City):

  • Northbound traffic will continue to utilize the same Skyway alternate routes that have been in effect since the northbound lanes were closed last year: NJ Turnpike-Hudson County Extension, Route 1&9 Truck northbound and Communipaw Avenue to access local Jersey City Locations.

MORE COVERAGE:

  • The Pulaski Skyway is closing for 8 weekends. Here's what you need to know / NJ.com