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Frequently Asked Questions


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The following provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation project.


Q.
What is the status of the Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation project?
A.

The Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitation project is being carried out through ten separate contracts, with completion anticipated in 2020.

Contract 1 is nearing completion and Contract 2 is under way.

  • Contract 1, to remove concrete encasements from structural steel to assess condition and make any needed repairs, began in 2012.
  • Contract 2 involves deck replacements and other work on the Conrail and Hoboken Viaducts. This work will result in traffic impacts primarily in Jersey City. Work under this contract is anticipated to be completed by early 2016.
  • Contracts 3 and 4 involve the Pulaski Skyway deck replacement and the closure of northbound lanes. Work on Contract 3 began in July 2013, but the northbound lanes did not close until April 12, 2014.
  • Contract 5 involves the full rehabilitation of the Kearny and Broadway ramps.
  • Contracts 6 and 7 involve steel repairs.
  • Contracts 8 and 9 involve seismic retrofits, superstructure and substructure repairs.
  • Contract 10 involves painting the steel structure.
Q.
What type of improvement is planned for the Pulaski Skyway?
A.
The following improvements will be made:
  • Replacement of the deck over the full length of the bridge
  • Structural steel repairs
  • Repairs to the concrete columns, piers and abutments for the full length of the bridge, including seismic retrofit improvements
  • Lengthening of an acceleration lane for motorists using the Broadway ramp to merge into Pulaski Skyway southbound traffic
  • Improvements to lighting and electrical systems
Q.
Why not reverse traffic on the Pulaski Skyway so it goes one direction in the morning and the other direction in the afternoon?
A.
Operational issues related to moving the barriers needed to reverse the lane direction make this an impractical option. Twice each day, the Pulaski Skyway would need to be closed while traffic on the bridge cleared; then barriers would be moved and detour signs adjusted. While the bridge is being cleared, traffic would back up as if an incident had occurred and it would take time for the congestion to clear. This daily reversal may have been confusing to motorists and heighten safety issues, particularly during switching hours. Ramp access would be even more difficult and present additional safety hazards for emergency vehicles.
   
Q.
Why can’t one lane in each direction be maintained?
A.
Allowing one lane of travel in each direction is not feasible. With two lanes closed for construction, the bridge is not wide enough to safely operate with one lane in each direction. This would create a 3.5 mile stretch with one 10 foot lane in each direction with a middle barrier and no shoulders. During an emergency, there would be no access for emergency vehicles to respond.
   
Q.
Why are the northbound lanes closed?
A.

A closure of the northbound lanes is better accommodated by the surrounding roadway network. The added shoulder lane on the I-78 eastbound New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension (NB-HCE) in the northbound/eastbound direction opened March 31, 2014 and has capacity for half of the diverted Skyway traffic, while the rest of the traffic can be absorbed by other roadways and other modes of transportation. Conversely, existing construction work on the southbound/westbound direction of the NB-HCE currently is reducing its capacity by one lane, so no extra capacity is available in the southbound direction to handle a southbound Pulaski Skyway closure.

   
Q.
Is anything being done at the Jersey Avenue signal where the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 139 or the Upper Roadway come together in Jersey City?
A.
Yes, since the northbound Pulaski Skyway lanes will be closed, the traffic volume reaching this signal from Route 139 will be greatly reduced. Therefore, a portion of the green time from Route 139 can be given to the Turnpike to accommodate the diverted traffic coming from the NB-HCE.
   
Q.
How will Route 1&9 T handle additional traffic?
A.
A series of traffic signals along the corridor will be replaced with an adaptive signal control technology to reduce or increase green time of each signal phase based on real-time traffic at each intersection. The biggest changes will be improved flow when the volumes are not at capacity. The traffic signals will be optimized to favor the northbound traffic. The ramp from Route 1&9 to Route 1&9 T will be widened from one to two lanes to accommodate the diverted Pulaski Skyway northbound traffic. Minor geometric changes will be made at Communipaw and Newark Avenues to enhance traffic flow on
Route 1&9 T.
   
Q.
Can you limit lift bridge openings during the peak period?
A. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has agreed to restrict openings of the Hackensack and Passaic lift bridges for non-tide dependent vessels during peak hours. For vessels that are tide dependent, USGC will give the New Jersery Department of Transportation (NJDOT) a 12-hour notice. This information will be posted to Variable Message Signs deployed in the region for this project and on 511NJ to warn motorists well in advance of when lift bridge openings are anticipated.
   
Q.
Will the construction work be done in two years?
A. The deck replacement with all the traffic impacts is expected to take two full years. Work on the Pulaski Skyway will continue for many years after this, but closures are expected to be limited to off peak hours such as midday or nights, similar to lane closures that have been on-going for many years. Future work will primarily take place under the deck, but some off-peak lane closures will be needed for access.
   
Q.
How long will it take to rehabilitate the Route 139 Hoboken and Conrail Viaducts?
A.
Contract 2 construction began in Fall 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2016.
 
Q.
Will the Route 139 Hoboken and Conrail Viaducts be widened?
A.
No, the proposed work does not include widening the Viaducts. The improvements include replacing the deck and supporting beams and the columns supporting the eastbound side of the Hoboken Viaduct. The westbound side of the roadway, which is on fill, will be resurfaced as part of the project.
   
Q.
Will there be detours and delays?
A.

Contract 2, which involves the rehabilitation of Route 139 and the Hoboken and Conrail Viaducts, will affect Jersey City traffic, including detours for local traffic.

Contracts 3 and 4 involve replacing the Pulaski Skyway's four travel lanes. This work will significantly affect traffic for approximately 24 months, starting in April 2014. Most of the other work planned for the Pulaski Skyway will not have significant impact on traffic. However, Route 7 will experience road closures during the final phase of construction for the Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge during its last contract.

   
Q.
Will detours affect traffic patterns on local streets?
A.
The detours for Contracts 3 and 4 deck replacement will utilize state and county roadways. A minimal number of local streets will be included in the detour routes for the ramp closures on the Pulaski Skyway. Route 139 Hoboken and Conrail Viaduct detours will affect local streets in Jersey City.
 
Q.
How will the public be informed of delays and closures?
A.

Information on road closures, delays and congestion will be available from various sources. The public should become familiar with these sources and check for regular updates. The Department's goal is to minimize inconvenience by providing real-time updates to help the public navigate available travel options. Information will be provided via:

  • Variable Message Signs
  • NJDOT Web site
  • Municipal Web sites
  • 511NJ online and over-the-phone travel information
  • Radio and television
  • Twitter@skywayrehab
Q.
How can I avoid delays due to road closures?
A.

Everyone can play a part in minimizing congestion during the critical phase of this project when the northbound travel lanes will be closed. Several useful strategies are available from which to choose. These include:

  • Switch to public transportation
  • Join a carpool or vanpool
  • Adjust travel times around peak morning and evening travel periods
  • Telecommute or work at other sites that your employer may have available
 
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  Department of Transportation
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  April 21, 2014