Pulaski Skyway Closures, Traffic Pattern Changes Planned Due to Roadwork

The Pulaski Skyway will be closed later this month on the weekend of Aug. 23 as crews install a new pier floorbeam located over the Tonnelle Circle in Jersey City, Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials say.

All Route 1&9 Pulaski Skyway traffic will be detoured from Friday, Aug. 23 at 9 pm through Monday, Aug. 26 at 5 am, officials say. Route 1&9 northbound will be closed at the Skyway entrance near Newark Liberty Airport, while Route 1&9 southbound will be closed at the ramp from Route 139 westbound to the Tonnelle Circle.

Access to the Skyway for Route 1&9 southbound motorists at the ramp located west of the Tonnelle Circle will be maintained, officials say. The ramps from the Tonnelle Circle to Route 139 eastbound will also be closed for the weekend, they add.

There will also be a long-term truck detour for all large-truck traffic from Tonnelle Avenue headed for Route 139 eastbound on the lower level (Holland Tunnel approach) that will be implemented on Saturday, Aug. 17 and remain in place for approximately two to three weeks until early September.

The detour, as well as a temporary reduction in height to a maximum clearance of 10 feet for cars passing through the Tonnelle Circle towards Route 139 eastbound, is required due to prep work for the full Skyway closure on Aug. 23, which includes installing temporary supports, shielding and other safety measures.

In addition, a series of lane and ramp closures in and around the Tonnelle Circle area will be implemented during overnight hours and on weekends beginning on Aug. 12 and running through the end of the month. The ramp from Tonnelle Avenue northbound to Route 139 eastbound will be closed full time for this period, beginning on Aug. 17. When the ramps are reopened permanently in early-September, the right-lane ramp from Route 1&9T to Route 139 eastbound will remain with a reduced clearance of eleven (11) feet for up to one year. Truck traffic will then be directed to use the left-lane ramp at this location.

This month’s roadwork is associated with Contract 1 of the $1 billion project to rehabilitate the Pulaski Skyway, which is 80 years old and carries 67,000 motor vehicles per day between Newark and Jersey City as well as serves as an express link to and from the Holland Tunnel. The project will be advanced through 10 separate construction contracts into 2020 and extend the life of the Skyway by 75 years.

Kiska Construction, Inc., NJDOT’s construction contractor for Contract 1, is removing the existing concrete encasement at the eastern end of the Skyway to determine the condition of the underlying steel within the structure. The majority of the steel uncovered to date has been determined to be in good condition, with the exception of some of the floorbeams located at the expansion joints.

The NJDOT will be erecting temporary support structures at twenty-one expansion joint locations within this section of the Skyway. These temporary supports will remain in place until the existing floorbeams are removed and replaced. The replacement will be completed under three separate construction contracts and will require numerous full-weekend closures of the entire Skyway.

After a floorbeam is installed on Aug. 23, another will be replaced under Contract 3 later in the project and the remaining nineteen floorbeams will be replaced under Contract 4.

Earlier this year, NJDOT officials announced a plan that would require a complete diversion of northbound motorists from the Skyway for approximately two years (starting after the Super Bowl in 2014) while the existing deck of the 3.5-mile long structure is replaced. Several local politicians have protested against this plan, including current Mayor Steven Fulop and then-Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

For more information, visit the NJDOT’s Pulaski Skyway Rehabilitiation Project website. For traffic updates, visit the main NJDOT website.

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.