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Pulaski ‘Carmageddon’ Could Reduce Turnpike Tolls [AUDIO]

With the Pulaski Skyway shut down for a two-year repair project, many North Jersey drivers are being forced to take the New Jersey Turnpike to get to Jersey City or Manhattan. Not only is that alternate route more expensive, it could also lead to traffic congestion so bad that some have already dubbed it “Carmageddon.”

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Traffic congestion
Scott Olson, Getty Images

A new bill set to be introduced in the state legislature would lower Turnpike tolls in the impacted area until the Pulaski Skyway is reopened.

“The idea is that, during the length of the period of the Skyway construction, the tolls on the Turnpike in those particular exits are cut in half,” said Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union). “As lawmakers, I think it’s time we show a little bit of consideration for motorists that, you know, we understand your pain. Let’s see what we can do to help a little bit.”

Under the bill Cryan and co-sponsor Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-Bayonne) plan to introduce next month, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority would be required to reduce, by half, the tolls at Exits 14, 14A, 14B, 14C and 15E on the Turnpike Extension until the Pulaski Skyway reopens.

“The expectation is that we’re supposed to have ‘carmageddon,’ if we believe these folks, in terms of the volume that’s actually going to be diverted on the roads,” Cryan said. “I hear folks say, ‘It’s just repairs and this is part of the process.’ This is different. This is two years.”

The New Jersey Department of Transportation expects 1,900 diverted vehicles to take the Turnpike every hour during the weekday rush. Cryan said these motorists will be forced to pay tolls they haven’t had to pay previously during their commutes to work. The cost is $2.45 one-way for the entire eight-mile extension during peak travel times, with no E-ZPass discount offered.

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