495 Viaduct Project traffic nightmare — A survival guide
TRENTON — Unlike other major Department of Transportation projects, there are no contingency plans to get commuters around the two-year Interstate 495 Viaduct project on a highway that carries 150,000 commuters daily.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT?
- The $90.3 million project, which replaces the entire bridge deck of the nine-span viaduct as well as parapets, light fixtures, guide rail, and drainage on the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel has been underway with preparation work the past several months.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT MY COMMUTE?
- Starting the evening of Friday, August 17, three eastbound lanes of Route 3 will funnel into a single lane between the western and eastern spurs of the Turnpike.
- Three lanes will be available on Route 495 in each direction between the Turnpike's eastern spur and Lincoln Tunnel
- There will still be two lanes coming from the Turnpike's eastern spur onto Route 495 east
WHAT ARE MY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES?
- Hudson-Bergen Light Rail from Hoboken and Jersey City
- PATH trains from Hoboken and Jersey City
- Ferries from Atlantic Highlands, Belford, and Highlands
- NJ Transit train or bus. No bus or train service is being added
- The Executive Bus Lane will continue to operate
DO I HAVE OTHER DRIVING OPTIONS?
Use some of the other crossings into New York:
- George Washington Bridge
- Holland Tunnel — The shoulder on the Turnpike's Newark Bay extension will remain open to accommodate extra Holland Tunnel traffic with a fourth lane during the morning commute,
- Goethals Bridge across Staten Island to Battery Tunnel – includes 12 miles of HOV 3
WHAT ELSE CAN I TRY TO ADJUST MY COMMUTE?
- Try leaving earlier to avoid the peak travel times of the morning and afternoon commutes
- Talk to your employer about telecommuting
- Use the Park & Ride lots in North Bergen located west of Route 1&9
Construction will take place in eight stages, which has already started with improvements to local streets in the surrounding areas that will need to handle some of the diverted traffic during bridge construction.
The entire project is expected to be done by the summer of 2021.
Additional information on the DOT website.