NJ Transit and Towns Brace for Traffic Nightmare

Beginning July 14 and extending for the next three months, at least, a road rehabilitation project affecting eastbound lanes of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in  New York will cause delays on the eastbound approaches to the George Washington Bridge, especially during the morning rush hour.  Beginning Monday, July 16, traffic  could be backed up for miles and residents and officials in towns from Fort Lee to Hackensack are bracing for tie-ups that have even these traffic jam veterans shaking in their boots.

“Well, I’m very nervous because when something happens at the bridge to begin with, you can tell because traffic is way into Teaneck,” said Leonia resident Janet Bastar.

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich says he’s bracing for the worst, starting early Monday morning.

“You’re first going to see it start backing up on I-95, Route 80, Route 46 — the major thoroughfares that feed into the bridge,” said Sokolich. “Once they start to back up, it’s almost like a hose that builds up pressure, pressure and pressure and then starts to springs leaks. Those leaks then bring you into the Borough of Fort Lee.”


David Cruz (@CruzNJTV) speaks with New Jersey officials on Friday, July 13 about what the road work will mean for traffic. Video courtesy of NJ Today.

Sokolich says when there’s an accident on the bridge or even on the Cross Bronx Expressway on the other side, traffic spills over into his town and those around it, so it’s not especially new, but the volume of traffic and the duration of the resulting traffic jams will be longer. To hedge against this, the mayor says he’s going to use aggressive traffic policing.

“If we see that we’re in the midst of gridlock that’s going to affect response time by ambulances, response times by volunteer firefighters or response times by police, we’ll start shutting roads down,” he said. “I’ll suffer the consequences later but the priority is the safety of our residents, bottom line.”


Managing Editor Mike Schneider (@SchneiderNJTV)  interviews John Durso, senior director of corporate communications for NJ Transit. Video courtesy of NJ Today.

Officials are recommending that you use any alternative route you can find, whether it’s mass transit, ferry service or other cross Hudson spans, but one thing they say they don’t want you to do, and the one thing they say they are going to make sure you don’t do, is use local roads to save time.

In an interview with Mike Schneider of NJ Today, NJ Transit spokesperson John Durso said for the next two weeks, there are altneratives for commuters who use NJ Transit buses to travel over the George Washington Bridge or through Fort Lee, NJ.  Through the end of July, NJ Transit will cross-honor bus tickets from those routes on on NJ Transit Rail.

Continue reading at NJ Today…

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