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Route 495, Route 1&9/Paterson Plank Road Bridge

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the purpose and need for this project?
A: The Route 495 Viaduct is a nine span bridge that was constructed in 1938. The bridge carries traffic on Route 495 over the NYS&W and Conrail rail lines, as well as Route 1&9, Paterson Plank Road and Liberty Avenue in the Township of North Bergen, Hudson County. The bridge is rated as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate the Route 495 bridge, which will extend the useful service life of the bridge for an estimated 75 years and eliminate the need for potential emergency repairs.
 
Q. What is the status of the project?
A: The contract was awarded in June 2017 to IEW Construction Group, Inc. Initial construction activities through spring 2018 are not anticipated to impact peak period commuter traffic. Peak period traffic impacts to Route 495 are anticipated when one travel lane will be closed in each direction. The exclusive bus lane (XBL) will remain operational during construction. Construction related traffic impacts during the peak period will continue for approximately two and a half years.
 
Q. What type of improvements are planned for the bridge?
A: The following improvements will be made:
  • Replacement of the Route 495 bridge deck and parapet over the full length of the bridge
  • Replacement of the bridge deck on two ramps:
    • Route 495 westbound to Paterson Plank Road northbound
    • Route 495 westbound to Route 1&9 southbound
  • Extensive structural steel repairs
  • Substructure repairs
  • Complete repainting
  • Drainage improvements
  • Approach roadway rehabilitation
  • Safety upgrades
  • Security Fencing
Q. Why can’t the rehabilitation work and impacts to traffic be limited to overnight hours?
A: The existing bridge deck will be completely replaced which includes adjustments to the elevations to improve drainage. Work areas of sufficient width are necessary to provide for improved quality of construction, which will reduce future repair requirements. The larger work zone provides a safer work area for the construction workers. It also reduces the number of stages required, which increases the safety for the traveling public and allows the project to be completed in less time. Due to the geometry of the existing structure framing and the significant change in vertical elevation to improve drainage, it is not possible to replace small portions of the bridge deck each night and be able to transition back to the existing deck to allow traffic on it.
 
Q. Are there going to be any traffic detours?
A: Yes. The 31st Street on ramp to Route 495 westbound will be detoured to Paterson Plank Road northbound during most of the construction stages. Detours also will be required when the two westbound ramps within the project limits are being rehabilitated. Columbia Avenue and Liberty Avenue will also be intermittently detoured for short periods of time (less than one week) for approach roadway and structure work in those areas. Graphics illustrating the detours are shown on the project website.
 
Q. Is anything being done to accommodate the additional traffic that will be traveling on the local streets?
A: Yes. Temporary traffic mitigation measures will be in place along Union Turnpike and Paterson Plank Road, from Bergen Turnpike west to the Route 3 on ramps past Park Plaza Drive and the Best Buy Driveway. The temporary improvements include the re-timing of traffic signals and the provision of additional turning lanes at a few intersections along the Union Turnpike/Paterson Plank Road corridor. These improvements are designed to optimize through travel along the corridor. Traffic will be monitored during construction. Traffic mitigation measures will be adjusted as necessary during the project to minimize congestion as best as possible.
 
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. A Community Outreach Team has been assigned to this project. For any community groups interested in more information about the project as it progresses, please contact our team at the email and hotline listed below. 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: Note: You can also sign up on the project website to be added to the project contact list which will issue frequent construction and traffic advisories.
 
Q. How can I avoid delays due to the lane closures?
A: Everyone can play a part in minimizing congestion during this project. 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
  • Use the George Washington Bridge or the Holland Tunnel if that is an option
For more information on vanpool and carpool, please contact the Transportation Management Association (TMA) for the region where you reside.
 
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  Copyright © State of New Jersey, 2002-2017
  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  August 17, 2017