JERSEY CITY - State and local officials say they are doing everything they can to ease the effect of the two-year closure of the Pulaski Skyway.
Transportation Commissioner James S. Simpson and the mayors of Jersey City, Hoboken, Kearny and Newark held a press conference Thursday about the closure of the northbound lanes on Saturday.
They say the $1 billion makeover is the only option for the region.
Commissioner Simpson says the Skyway is safe now but soon won't be, making repairs necessary. "Eighty-two years of pounding traffic, road salt and suboptimal drainage has taken a huge toll on the bridge and that's why we are here today," he says.
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Officials are pushing heavily for commuters to consider mass transit, car pools, and park and ride.
Alternate routes have been established but are expected to be packed during rush hours.
Jersey City is expected to feel the biggest impact. The city has put turn and parking restrictions into effect and added more officers to help contain congestion.
Mayor Steven Fulop says Jersey City will be under a state of emergency for the first two weeks of the closure, which he says will allow him the flexibility to make any necessary changes without going through a lengthy legal process.
This weekend was chosen to close the Skwyay since next week is a holiday week and spring break for many, which will help ease commuters into the new patterns.