Closing Pulaski Skyway Gets Work Done Faster [VIDEO]
Closing the northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway in 2014 for two years was the best option to get repairs done the fastest according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The northbound lanes of the 80-year-old roadway will be closed after the Super Bowl for extensive repairs by the NJDOT including the replacement of the skyway deck, strengthening the steel superstructure, repairing ramps, increasing the Skyway's ability to withstand an earthquake, improving drainage and lighting and repainting.
The replacement of the roadway deck will begin in late 2013, but the closure of inbound lanes will begin in early 2014, state Department of Transportation officials said. The work is expected to take about two years. During that time, two outbound lanes will be open.
Assistant Commissioner of the NJDOT, Richard Hammer tells the Star Ledger that several options were investigated that would have kept the road open including the restricting of work to nights and weekends, flipping lanes and building a temporary bridge. "Doing it this way allows us to get it all done quicker," said Hammer according to the Star Ledger. co. "This is a heads-up for what's happening. This gives regional drivers a chance to prepare." DOT spokesman Joseph Dee added that the other options added costs to the project.
The DOT says several steps will be taken to aleviate the certain traffic nightmare including:
- Optimizing northbound traffic flow on 1&9 T
- Converting a shoulder along the Turnpike's Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension (I-78) into an eastbound travel lane.
- Working with NJ TRANSIT on the feasibility of bolstering public transportation service during this period.
- Car-pooling and van-pooling will be encouraged.
- The Department also will be reaching out to employers to determine if there is any flexibility in workday start times.
The DOT also seeks the input of commuters in developing alternate plans at their website.