NEWARK - The northbound lanes on the Pulaski Skyway were closed this morning, and they will remain closed for the next two years as a massive bridge rehabilitation project gets underway.

Crews spent hours shutting down the lanes that head toward Jersey City and New York. The project is expected to cause major traffic headaches on weekdays, when an estimated 40,000 drivers use the Skyway each day.

To get around the Skyway, state transportation officials are urging commuters to take a train or a bus. Truck Route 1/9 will also remain open.

Also available are the Hudson County extension of the New Jersey Turnpike to get to Jersey City and the Holland Tunnel. Travelers coming from the north can take the Belleville Turnpike. More transit buses, trains and even a ferry from Atlantic Highlands to Hoboken and Jersey City will be available.

The project aims to repair the 82-year-old bridge, which needs new steel supports and new decking. The Department of Transportation says the cost to repair the Skyway is $1.2 billion.

Once work on the northbound lanes is complete, Department of Transportation crews will begin work on the southbound side.