Starting this Monday, August 30, a new permanent traffic pattern on Interstate 278 is scheduled to begin. This will most certainly affect travel times for New Jersey drivers and commercial truck traffic through Brooklyn.

The road is set to be reduced by one lane in each direction near the waterfront and promenade.

There will be two wider lanes compared to the current three lane pattern.

I-278 is the one and only major interstate truck route that connects New Jersey with all of NYC’s five boroughs.

Goethals Bridge
In this 2017 photo, the eastbound span of the Goethals Bridge, left, is shown beside the twin westbound span, center, and the 89-year-old original bridge connecting Elizabeth, N.J. with Staten Island. (AP File)

The highway begins in New Jersey at Linden and crosses the Goethals and Verrazzano Bridges. Trucks, deliveries, everybody uses I-278 (aka The BQE).

This project has the potential to be a 24/7 traffic nightmare for the rest of forever.

Verrazzano Narrows Bridge
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is seen at dawn in New York, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Quick history ... Road capacity was exceeded soon after the highway opened nearly 70 years ago and not much has been done to address the long term decay of this crucial stretch of highway.

Although plans have been proposed to completely redesign and repurpose the road, nothing has been approved.

New York Insfrastructure-Kosciuszko Bridge
A worker climbs a staircase, left, as construction continues above him on the eastbound Kosciuszko Bridge carrying traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278) over Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

This plan will simply serve to lighten the use and limit stress from overweight and oversized trucks on the double deckered cantilever structure. It will extend the lifespan of the highway from an alarming five years to 20 years.

Biden Infrastructure
Vehicles drive along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, part of the city's aging infrastructure, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in New York. With an appeal to think big, President Joe Biden is promoting his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan directly to Americans. Republicans oppose Biden's American Jobs Plan as big taxes, big spending and big government. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

But at the same time, the project is going to reduce road capacity by 30%. Three lanes down to two. A traffic funnel that’s not going to be fun. And that means unknown amounts of increased travel times for New Jersey drivers and the entire region.

Well, at least you’ll have time to watch the proverbial can being kicked down the road as you sit in the backups. Pass the Tylenol.

Bob Williams is the New Jersey Traffic North reporter on New Jersey 101.5

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