Officials prep motorists for traffic trouble during Route 495 work

Posted: Updated:
WEEHAWKEN -

Officials in several Hudson County towns say that they want to prepare motorists for traffic issues once a rehabilitation project on the already-congested Route 495 viaduct begins next month.

“We’re going to start a massive campaign to alert people they’re going to have to go other ways,” says Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner.

The project is expected to begin Aug. 17 and should take over two years to complete. More than 150,000 motorists drive over the 80-year-old span daily. The bridge is considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The $90 million project is expected to extend the bridge's life by 75 years.

Mayor Turner says that he is also anticipating traffic backups on Routes 1&9 and Paterson Plank Road. 

“We expect tremendous traffic backup. Our job is to work with the state and keep all the major intersections open…We have to make sure emergency vehicles get through. Police, ambulance, fire, so we can’t have gridlock,” Turner says.

Traffic control officers are already out at work to control the flow of traffic around the area. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has told local mayors that the agency will reimburse for police work managing the traffic.

The DOT is urging commuters to travel at off-peak times if possible, and consider using public transportation. But Turner says that it may be best to avoid the area altogether if possible.

“If you're going west for pleasure, go another way. If you're going west for work, leave early. And when you come back in, leave late because it’s going to be very crowded,” he says.

More information about the project and viable detour options can be found HERE.

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