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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Erin Phalon

RELEASE: October 24, 2005

NJDOT breaks ground on
Route 139 construction project

  $225 million project will rehabilitate the 12 th Street and 14 th Street viaducts leading to the Holland Tunnel


(Jersey City) Commissioner Jack Lettiere today announced the start of construction on the Department of Transportation (NJDOT)'s rehabilitation of Route 139, New Jersey's approach to the Holland Tunnel. The federally-funded, $225 million project will rehabilitate and reconstruct the existing, structurally deficient 12 th Street and 14 th Street bridges in Jersey City. The 12th Street Viaduct is an elevated eastbound roadway; the 14th Street Viaduct is an elevated westbound roadway.

"The rehabilitation of these essential viaducts will greatly improve safety and demonstrate NJDOT's Fix-It-First philosophy toward our aging infrastructure," said Lettiere.   "NJDOT is committed to reducing this project's traffic impact and providing motorists a smooth ride during construction."

Age, increased traffic volume and excessive use have severely deteriorated the 12 th and 14 th Street viaducts, which require immediate and extensive rehabilitation.   The two structures are a high-volume traffic approach to the Holland Tunnel, averaging over 100,000 vehicles a day.   The 12 th Street viaduct is over 80 years old, and the 14 th Street structure is more than 50 years old.   NJDOT attempted to repair the viaducts through nearly $700,000 in emergency projects, but deterioration was irreversible.

The NJDOT Route 139 Approach to the Holland Tunnel project will provide a permanent solution by re-decking the 1.5-mile viaducts, rehabilitating superstructures and substructures, and making other operational improvements to the structurally deficient viaducts. The super- and substructures will be reinforced with steel. The bridge foundations also will be rehabilitated.

NJDOT awarded the project to contractor D'Annunzio and Sons of Clark on May 13, 2005. The contractor's first step will be to create a shoulder structure on the 14 th Street Viaduct. This structure will provide an additional lane of roadway for use while the remainder of both structures is under construction. During this stage, one lane of the upper westbound roadway will be closed starting at the Turnpike split.   The first stage of the project, which will likely continue until early spring 2006, will not impact the eastbound 12 th Street Viaduct. NJDOT expects no significant traffic impacts during the first stage of the project.

NJDOT will then rehabilitate the existing structures.   Work will begin on the 14 th Street and then continue to the 12 th Street Viaduct.   All road and shoulder closures, detours and construction hour changes will be made public to motorists in advance of and during each subsequent stage of construction.

In order to expedite work on critical aspects of the project and minimize delays for motorists, NJDOT is utilizing the largest contractor incentive/disincentive program in its history.   Under the program, the contractor is subject to penalties of $20,000 per day for work not finished according to the contract. Conversely, the contractor can earn incentive payments of $20,000 per day by completing the project ahead of schedule.    

NJDOT has taken a variety of steps to manage traffic and mitigate the impact of traffic delays during the multi-stage project. NJDOT by summer 2006 will pave several Jersey City roadways to provide alternate routes for local traffic in the vicinity of the project. The Department also is working with New Jersey Transit to provide additional parking at and encourage motorists to use the Hudson-Bergen light rail rather than Route 139 during construction. Long-term traffic relief plans include enhanced rail and bus options and traffic signal adjustments to smooth traffic flow.

NJDOT is committed to providing motorists up-to-date information regarding traffic conditions in the area.   The Department has undertaken a comprehensive public information campaign which will help alert the public to important project information. NJDOT employs a full-time, bilingual community liaison at the project site to assist residents with project-related concerns. In addition, NJDOT will post variable messages regarding the Route 139 project on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's signs at Exits 12 and 13 of the Turnpike. Commuters can access real-time traffic updates by logging onto www.njcommuter.com or http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/roads/jcviaducts/ or calling 877-NJROADS for emergency information.

NJDOT planned the Route 139 rehabilitation project through extensive coordination with Jersey City, New York City, Hudson County, New Jersey Transit, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. NJDOT will continue to work closely with its local and regional partners throughout the remainder of the project.



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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  January 13, 2012