JERSEY CITY - When the $1 billion restoration project for the Pulaski Skyway began in 2014, officials said all work would be complete by April 12, 2016.
Despite the set date, the project is only half complete. News 12 New Jersey was given access to the bridge to see what progress has been made.
"When we started [the] project we discovered more deterioration to the steel than expected,” says New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Schapiro.
Schapiro says that dealing with all of the deterioration and corrosion, coupled with the bad winter of 2014-15, put the project behind schedule.
Earlier this month, the DOT transferred traffic from the southbound lanes to the newly reconstructed northbound lanes.
The new lanes have brand-new railings and beams. There is also a new drainage system that is supposed to keep water from corroding the new parts. Officials hope the 83-year-old bridge will last another 75 years.
"The bridge first opened in 1932 and the original concrete deck is still on the bridge,” says Schapiro. "We understand an extra few months can be frustrating but at end of the day the long term benefit is well worth it.”
The DOT expects the project to be fully completed by the end of 2016. The agency says that construction on the second side should go more quickly because now they know what they are dealing with.