Image source: Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
The full reopening of the Pulaski Skyway will be pushed off until Spring 2018, instead of this summer so contractors can replace retaining walls between the Skyway and Rte. 139, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials.
The project to install a new bridge deck on the 85-year-old skyway between Newark and Jersey City is about 77% complete. The retaining walls were not part of the original $1 billion skyway rehabilitation project.
Now only one side of the skyway is open to southbound traffic. The Skyway has been closed to northbound traffic since 2014. Southbound traffic is currently using the reconstructed northbound lanes.
This makes the third time reopening the Skyway has been pushed back. In April 2015, officials blamed the harsh winter and the discovery of rusted floor beams, which pushed the completion to late 2016. Last June, officials said the Skyway would not reopen to traffic until sometime in Summer 2017. A specific date was to be decided this spring.
Construction to replace the retaining walls is expected to begin in late summer. The retaining wall replacement was advanced to get the work completed while the bridge deck replacement is underway to take advantage of the closed lanes and alternate routes that are in place.
About 2.7 miles of the 3.5-mile long southbound side of the Skyway has new bridge deck panels installed. What's left to do is pouring the concrete between the northbound and southbound lanes, construct a median barrier and install guide rails. Then a concrete driving surface will be applied to the southbound lanes.