TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced that the necessary installation of a new pier floorbeam, located over the Tonnelle Circle in Jersey City on the Route 1&9 Pulaski Skyway, requires a series of associated lane and ramp closures this month, culminating in a full closure of the entire Skyway in both directions for the weekend of Aug. 23.
The Skyway provides four travel lanes for motor vehicles, two in each direction separated by a center barrier. All Route 1&9 traffic will be detoured from 9 p.m. Friday night, August 23 until around 5 a.m. on Monday, August 26. 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. Furthermore, the ramps from the Tonnelle Circle to Route 139 eastbound will be closed for this weekend.
In addition, a long term truck detour for all large-truck traffic from Tonnelle Avenue headed for Route 139 eastbound lower level (Holland Tunnel approach) is scheduled to be implemented on Saturday, August 17 and remain in place for approximately two-to-three weeks until early-September.
The work is associated with Contract 1 of the $1 billion project to rehabilitate the Pulaski Skyway, an 80-year-old elevated highway that carries 67,000 motor vehicles per day between Newark and Jersey City and serves as an express link for cars and buses to and from the Holland Tunnel. The massive improvement project will extend the life of the Skyway by 75 years.
Kiska Construction, Inc., NJDOT’s construction contractor for the ongoing 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. 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 such time that the existing floorbeams are removed and replaced. The replacement of the floorbeams will be completed under three separate construction contracts, and the work will require numerous full weekend closures of the entire Skyway.
NJDOT will be replacing one floorbeam – located on the eastern side of the Tonnelle Circle – this month as an additional priority item to the ongoing Contract 1. This work is planned for the weekend of August 23 and will require the full weekend closure of the Skyway as noted. Per current schedule, one floorbeam will be replaced under Contract 3 and the remaining nineteen floorbeams will be replaced under Contract 4.
In advance of the full Skyway closure planned for August 23, the contractor will be preparing the work location and installing temporary supports, shielding and other safety measures. This work – which will result in a temporary reduction in height to a maximum clearance of ten (10) feet for vehicles passing through the Tonnelle Circle towards Route 139 eastbound – will require the truck detour noted above.
Additionally, a series of lane and ramp closures in and around the Tonnelle Circle area, connecting with the Pulaski Skyway and Route 139 eastbound, 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. A video visualization is available online to help motorists understand these associated impacts.
The Pulaski Skyway rehabilitation project – which is being advanced through 10 separate construction contracts into the year 2020 – will transform the Skyway from its current poor condition into one that is in a state of good repair. The construction contracts for Contract 2 (Schiavone Construction Co.) and Contract 3 (CCA Civil Inc.) were awarded in late-June.
In January 2013, NJDOT announced a construction plan that will 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 that carries Route 1&9 traffic is replaced. Two southbound travel lanes will be maintained during this phase of the rehabilitation project.
NJDOT created a project-specific website – www.pulaskiskyway.com – which contains a wealth of information about the Skyway and the project, and will be updated with relevant new information as work progresses. The Department is carefully coordinating the Pulaski Skyway project with other regional transportation infrastructure projects to minimize traffic congestion.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.
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