NORTH BERGEN – Standing under Route 495, Governor Phil Murphy personally provided details on a rehabilitation project that will close one lane of Route 495 in each direction until the summer of 2019. Murphy said the project will restore the structural integrity of the bridge, extend the service life of the span for an estimated 75 years, and minimize the need for emergency repairs.
In the meantime, it’s going to jam traffic and create headaches and maybe heartaches, he acknowledged.
“Tonight, work begins in earnest on the much-needed reconstruction of this bridge and roadway,” said Murphy. “This is the very definition of good news and bad news. The good news is that we are making this bridge safer, stronger and a more reliable way to commute. The bad news is it will take a long time and inconvenience a great many people. However, we cannot ignore the critical need to repair and, in cases like this, rebuild vital transportation infrastructure.”
“We know that this project will cause severe congestion and we are sensitive to the way it will impact people’s daily lives,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We strongly suggest that commuters consider travel alternates whether it’s carpooling, adjusting when you leave to avoid the worst congestion, or choosing another crossing such as the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel, or the Goethals Bridge across Staten Island. 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. We ask commuters to be our partners so we can get through this together.”
Murphy and Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the Route 495, Route 1&9/Paterson Plank Road bridge deck is in poor condition and the structural framing and supporting piers contain areas of severe corrosion and section loss. Work will start by closing one lane of Route 495 eastbound and then one lane of Route 495 westbound to establish a center work zone. This configuration will be in place until the fall. At that time, the next stage will begin with a traffic shift to create a work zone on the right side of Route 495 eastbound. This stage is expected to be in place until summer 2019.