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Pulaski Skyway Northbound to Close in April for 2 Years

Northbound traffic between Newark and Jersey City will need to use an alternate route.

The Pulaski Skyway. Photo credit: NJ Department of Transportation
The Pulaski Skyway. Photo credit: NJ Department of Transportation
A two-year construction project that will close the northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway from Newark to Jersey City will begin in April, the New Jersey Department of Transportation announced Monday.

The $1 billion rehabilitation project will begin Saturday, April 12 to improve the northbound and southbound lanes across the deck of the 3.5-mile bridge, the NJDOT said.

The first phase will rebuild the Skyway's two northbound lanes. Southbound traffic will then be shifted to the newly rebuilt northbound lanes while construction is done on the southbound side.

"The Department has invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of staff time to maximize the capacity of existing roadways, to augment public transportation options, and to anticipate issues before they arise,” NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson said.  "We will achieve the best possible outcome of these efforts if Skyway motorists are aware of the many options that are available to them.  Mapping out several options now will give motorists the agility to try several alternatives in the first days and weeks of the closure."

NJDOT created a Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation video that informs viewers of the scope of the project and some of the travel alternatives that will be available.  It is posted on the NJDOT’s project website and on the department’s YouTube channel. The department also is producing television and radio advertisements to publicize the alternate routes and travel modes.

The busiest time on Skyway northbound lanes is between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., when approximately 9,600 vehicles head toward Jersey City, Hoboken and other Hudson County destinations, as well as to New York City, according to the NJDOT.

The NJDOT has suggested the following travel alternatives:
  • New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension (I-78), where an eastbound shoulder will be converted into a third travel lane during morning and evening peak travel periods.
  • The New Jersey Turnpike Eastern Spur
  • Route 1&9 T, where adaptive traffic signal control technology and intersection and entrance ramp improvements will help accommodate additional traffic heading toward Jersey City and New York CityPublic transportation enhancements to accommodate additional passengers on NJ TRANSIT rail and bus, and PATH trains
  • Regional Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) (www.hudsontma.org and www.ezride.org) stand ready to assist those who wish to participate in car pools or van pools or need help planning their trip
  • The Department continues to explore additional bus and ferry options

Alternate route and mode capacity

The department’s goal is to identify alternate routes and modes that provide capacity that meets or exceeds the morning peak traffic volume of 9,600 vehicles on the Skyway northbound lanes. The combined capacity of the following strategies does so. 

Roadways:

  • The additional travel lane on the Turnpike Extension will enable that route to accommodate about 4,500 additional vehicles per morning peak period.  The third lane also will be available to motorists during evening commute hours
  • 1&9 T will be able to accommodate nearly 1,700 additional vehicles per morning peak
  • Turnpike Eastern Spur is expected to handle an additional 1,500 vehicles in the morning peak period
  • The Department is aware that crashes, breakdowns and other incidents snarl traffic on congested roadways.  It is staging NJDOT Safety Service Patrol trucks and tow trucks to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.  NJDOT has been coordinating with Newark, Kearny, and Jersey City emergency services to promote their timely responses to incidents and will continue to do so
  • Dozens of strategically located Variable Message Signs will provide motorists with best route and trip time information

Public transportation:

  • NJ TRANSIT plans to add 1,260 seats on Raritan Valley Line trains operating to Newark Penn Station during the morning peak period (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and from Newark Penn Station during the evening (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) peak 
  • Efforts are under way to enable NJ TRANSIT to debut a new bus line next week that will offer regular, peak-hour service along the Route 22 Corridor between Watchung and Newark Penn Station serving several intermediate communities via Mountain and Morris avenues.  The new bus line (No. 95) would operate exclusively during peak hours, providing an additional 330 seats for customers during each travel period
  • The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey plans to increase the frequency of PATH departures from Newark Penn Station to help accommodate as many as 6,000 additional NJ TRANSIT rail and bus customers  
  • In conjunction with a planned late-February 2014 rail schedule change, NJ TRANSIT will add two train trips each morning and two train trips each evening on the Morris & Essex Lines between Summit and Hoboken Terminal.  Two of the trains will operate during the peak periods, with the other two trains operating just outside of peak times, resulting in an additional 900 seats each morning and evening
  • Also in conjunction with the planned late-February 2014 rail schedule change, NJ TRANSIT will add one trip during the morning peak and one trip during the evening peak on the North Jersey Coast Line between Bay Head and Hoboken.  This will add an additional 460 seats during each period
  • Robust PATH service in Hoboken will be able to accommodate additional customers for trips to Jersey City or New York City

Carpools and vanpools:

  • NJDOT will provide $325-per-month subsidies to enable NJ TRANSIT through the Hudson County TMA to support up to 10 new vanpools capable of accommodating approximately 100 commuters 
  • Carpooling and commuter flexing trips around the peak travel period also are being encouraged by NJDOT to benefit the regional transportation network during peak travel times
  • Among the agencies with whom the Department is working are Transportation Management Associations (TMAs), which will work with large employers to promote vanpool or carpool opportunities for employees and help educate employees on other transit options 
  • TMAs are currently working with large employers in the Jersey City waterfront area to identify opportunities for employees to work from home or to flex the start of their workday around the peak morning travel period 
  • The Hudson County TMA and NJDOT also are visiting work sites to provide employees with a clear summary of their options, and are encouraging employees to make trial runs of several options prior to the April 12 closure of northbound travel on the Skyway
  • 1-800-245-POOL is a state-run hotline that can help connect commuters seeking to start or add to a carpool

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