TRENTON – NJDOT officials reminded motorists that the Route 1&9 Pulaski Skyway is scheduled to be closed this weekend from 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 until about 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26 for the installation of a new floor beam that supports travel lanes over the Tonnelle Circle in Jersey City.
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 with the northbound highway closed at the Skyway entrance near Newark Liberty Airport, and Route 1&9 southbound closed at the ramp from Route 139 westbound to the Tonnelle Circle.
Motorists will who are heading south on Route 1&9 trying to get onto the Skyway near the Tonnelle Circle will be able to do so, and motorists going west on Route 139 will be able to cut through the circle and get on the Skyway southbound.
A long term truck detour for all large-truck traffic from Tonnelle Avenue headed for Route 139 eastbound lower level (Holland Tunnel approach) was implemented last weekend and will remain in place 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 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 floor beams located at the expansion joints. NJDOT will be erecting temporary support structures at 21 expansion joint locations within this section of the Skyway. These temporary supports will remain in place until such time that the existing floor beams are removed and replaced.
The work this coming weekend to replace a floor beam located on the eastern side of the Tonnelle Circle falls under Contract 1. The Department is expediting the replacement of this specific floor beam at this time as the temporary support structure in place impacts the ramp connection from Tonnelle Avenue to Route 139 eastbound. Replacing the floor beam now will minimize the long term impacts at this location. Under the current schedule, another floor beam will be replaced under Contract 3, and the remaining 19 floor beams will be replaced under Contract 4.
In advance of the full Skyway closure planned for this weekend, the contractor has been preparing the work site by 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 – requires 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 continue to be implemented during overnight hours and on weekends through the end of August.
- The ramp from Tonnelle Avenue northbound to Route 139 eastbound was closed last week and will remain closed through the end of the month.
- When the ramps are reopened permanently in early-September, the right-lane ramp from Route 1&9T to Route 139 eastbound will provide a reduced height clearance of 11 feet for up to one year. All truck traffic will 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.
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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