Drivers, neighbors concerned about Pulaski Skyway work to begin April 12, could last up to 2 years

The northbound Pulaski Skyway will shut down to all traffic for major repairs.

The northbound Pulaski Skyway will shut down to all traffic for major repairs. (3/26/14)

JERSEY CITY - The northbound Pulaski Skyway will shut down to all traffic for major repairs in just three weeks and drivers say they have concerns about planned alternatives.

State transportation crews will start replacing the deck on the 3.5-mile long roadway on April 12. The project will take up to two years.

Officials are planning alternate routes, but they say they are aware that old habits die hard. "That traffic is used to going one place and they're gonna try to find their way," says New Jersey Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Richard Hammer. "We've done some minimal improvements to that roadway but there's only so much you can do. It's a very congested road. So I think that the residents need to understand that in the very beginning it could be a little bit messy. We're certainly gonna have some bad days as people learn what the situation is about and really take seriously the alternatives that we present."

The DOT says drivers can take the 78 Newark Bay Extension, which will have an extra lane open in the shoulder, or Truck 1 and 9, where officials say technology has been added to adapt signals to traffic patterns.

"My commute is difficult as it is," says Hassan Jaafar, of North Bergen. "Add this - it's going to be crazy."

Residents in the Hamilton Park section of Jersey City are concerned that when those alternates back up, drivers will find their own way around traffic right through their neighborhood. 

Rosemarie Alagia lives there, and drives out of town for work. "I'm worried about local congestion and I'm worried about the length of our commutes."

Hammer says there will also be increased mass transit options.

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