Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:41 pm
This week, commuters all over northern New Jersey will get a true taste of the traffic caused by the Pulaski Skyway closure, as one would hardly have noticed a thing last week with schools closed for Spring Break and holiday vacation—removing approximately 200+ school buses from the roads, as well as the cars of 2,200 teachers, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
This week, all bets are off. The Pulaski Skyway, a vital 3.5 mile span driven by approximately 40,000 vehicles per day, 9,600 of which are rush-hour commuters, officially closed Saturday, April 12, for a two-year bridge deck rehabilitation project costing $1billion. Only the northbound lanes are closed.
“People are resourceful and they figure it out, and the new normal eventually sets in,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
And figure it out, we shall. Now that the honeymoon is over, here are some resources to help you “figure it out,” and make your commute as smooth as possible.
Know Before You Go
Sorry, no relying on your GPS for this one! According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, GPS will not follow the detours so NJDOT will use electronic signs and social media to help redirect drivers.
The major detours include the New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension (I-78) eastbound shoulder, which will be converted into a third travel lane during the morning and evening rush hours.
The additional travel lane on the Turnpike Extension will enable that route to accommodate about 4,500 additional vehicles per morning during the peak travel period. The third lane also will be available to motorists during evening commute hours.
The New Jersey Turnpike Eastern Spur is expected to handle an additional 1,500 vehicles during the morning rush.Adaptive traffic signal control technology and entrance ramp improvements will help accommodate additional traffic heading toward Jersey City and New York City. Route 1 & 9 will be able to accommodate nearly 1,700 additional vehicles per morning during the peak travel period.
If you do decide to drive, you can check out a listing of all detours on the State of New Jersey website.
Use Public Transportation
Get those audio books, Kindles, and iPads ready! With new service and additional capacity, if you can get thee to a mode of mass transit, it could be your best option. There are a number of options available.
For Bus options, you have the Route 1 & 9 – Haynes Avenue Park and Ride bus service—only $2. You also have the NJ Transit express bus service option on the Route 22 corridor.
If you have easy access to NJ Transit Rail, the following lines now have expanded capacity: Morris & Essex (M & E) Lines, Raritan Valley Line and the North Jersey Coast Line.
The PATH is fast and convenient, especially if you need to get to Jersey City, Hoboken, or New York. You can try connecting to the PATH from one of the above public transport options.
Whatever mode of transport you decide to use, stay safe, and check general traffic and conditions before you head out. Use Google Maps to see real-time traffic and accident reports on your route, tune to 1010WINS or 880WCBS on your AM dial to hear the latest delays, or go to 511nj.org for the latest news and updates.
Let’s try to stay positive. The Pulaski Skyway closure is probably going to be a major pain in your commute, but if you can plan ahead and use your time wisely, there may just be some silver lining on your new path, for now.
Got any tips on navigating the Pulaski Skyway closure? Plymouth Rock would love to hear from you.