Sarah Gonzalez, Reporter, WNYC/NJPR
Sarah Gonzalez is the northern New Jersey enterprise reporter for WNYC and NJPR.
A decaying bridge connecting New Jersey commuters to New York City is closing down for two years as part of a $1 billion renovation project.
The upcoming lane closures to the Pulaski Skyway are already being dubbed “carmageddon.”
About 74,000 vehicles cross the Pukaski Skyway every day — and 34,000 will be detoured for the next 24 months while the lanes heading into New York are being rehabilitated. The traffic traveling southbound, primarily from New York, will remain open for the entire project.
The bridge is one of two major connectors between Newark, Newark Liberty Airport and turnpike traffic heading towards Jersey City, Hoboken and the Holland Tunnel into New York.
The New Jersey Transportation Commissioner says the idea of detouring 9,600 vehicles during the morning rush alone is keeping him up at night.
The agency is expanding train and bus services, keeping green lights running longer at detours, and adding lanes to truck routes and the New Jersey Turnpike, a toll road.
On its website, it says these options won’t “eliminate congestion, so you will still need to add more time to your commute.”
Renovations to the 81-year-old bridge start on April 12, 2014. They are expected to extend the life of the structure by another 75 years.
You can find the list of alternative commute options here.