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'Summer of Hell 2' continues as Route 495 bridge lane closures set to begin

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Gov. Phil Murphy discusses Route 495 bridge lane closures.
Gov. Phil Murphy discusses Route 495 bridge lane closures. - ()

In what Gov. Phil Murphy called a “good news-bad news scenario,” the multiyear construction project to replace the Route 495 Bridge over Routes 1 and 9 is slated to begin at 9 p.m. tonight.

In what Gov. Phil Murphy called a “good news-bad news scenario,” the multiyear construction project to replace the Route 495 Bridge over Routes 1 and 9 is slated to begin at 9 p.m. tonight.

Two lanes, one eastbound and one westbound, will be closed to traffic on the bridge to and from Lincoln Tunnel.

Traffic patterns are expected to change eight times during the construction as lanes are opened and closed to replace the pavement and physical support structure for the bridge. Public officials have said the replacement, which is scheduled to last two and a half years, is desperately needed for the aging bridge.

“The bridge is not unsafe to drive on, but at a certain point you’re playing with time,” Murphy said.

Construction is certain to prompt traffic snarls in the area, and at a Friday press conference, Murphy and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti ticked off a list of steps commuters can take.

Commuters could try carpooling or crossing the Hudson River via the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel or Goethals Bridge across Staten Island, Murphy said.

“Commuters should also consider public transportation such as the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, ferries, PATH, Park & Ride lots, or telecommuting or flexible work weeks if your employer allows it,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.

On Thursday, Gutierrez-Scaccetti and New Jersey Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett were in Trenton, taking flak from lawmakers on a joint Assembly-Senate transit panel.

For nearly three hours, the state’s two top transportation officials answered questions from lawmakers on what’s been dubbed “Summer of Hell 2" – weeks of cancellations and delays, equipment failures, staffing shortages and poor communication between NJ Transit and commuters.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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manfred Mann August 17, 2018 3:07 pm

The Summer of Hell will continue into our Winter of Discontent

T August 17, 2018 3:16 pm

2 1/2 years is political speak for 4. This 2 1/2 years will contain 3 winters. Can we say weather delays and weather related extensions to the time line?

Why didn't this start in the Spring when potentially only 2 winters would be in the theoretical time line?

Hopefully the end result will be worth it and not similar to the poor design and traffic jams associated with the Route 3 - 21 bridge replacement from several years ago or the Route 21 to 46 about 20 years ago.

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