Road closures begin for Route 495 Lincoln Tunnel approach

Posted: Updated:

Motorists will get their first taste of traffic congestion caused by a long-term project to rebuild and rehabilitate the viaduct and roadway approaching the Lincoln Tunnel in Hudson County.

The state Department of Transportation closed the on-ramp from busy Kennedy Boulevard to westbound Route 495 Friday night. Motorists were detoured onto Route 3 and Routes 1&9.

There's more to come: Next Friday, a lane will be closed in each direction for the duration of the project, estimated at 2 ½ years.

RELATED: Officials prep motorists for traffic trouble during Route 495 work
MORE: Route 495 Rehabilitation Project - Project & Traffic Information

More than 150,000 motorists drive over the 80-year-old viaduct daily. It's considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The $90 million project is expected to extend the bridge's life by 75 years.

But the project is expected to cause a traffic nightmare in the area – which is already plagued by delays and congestion.

“You get the traffic that’s going to the tunnel, then you got all the traffic from the local people living around here, and everybody going to Weehawken, North Bergen and Secaucus,” says Union City resident Luis Huertas.

Transportation officials are urging motorists to travel at off-peak times if possible and consider using public transportation.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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