The New York Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Friday that it would be shutting down the northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway in February 2014 to begin much-needed repairs to the 80-year-old bridge between New Jersey and New York. The southbound lanes will remain open during that time.
Those lanes would likely remain closed for two years, affecting approximately 34,000 vehicles per day. DOT officials evaluated a number of alternatives, but ultimately felt that closing the Skyway in one direction was the best option.
Limiting work periods to nights and weekends would have extended the project to six years and added $210 million to the final cost. Reversing the flow of traffic for the evening rush hour was also considered but deemed too difficult logistically.
To accommodate the diverted traffic, one shoulder of I-78 will be converted to an extra lane. New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority will also coordinate with the DOT to provide increased services.
The announced closure is part of a larger eight-year, $1 billion reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Skyway, which officials say will extend the life of the bridge by another 75 years.