Roger Stern

Route 495 nightmare: Commuters face first day of lane closures

August 20, 2018 - 6:27 am

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A new era of headaches begins for commuters in New York and New Jersey.

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Monday marks the first full weekday of lane closures on Route 495, approaching the Lincoln Tunnel. The construction project officially began Friday night, in one of the worst traffic bottleneck areas in the northeast.

One lane will be closed in each direction for the next two and a half years to make way for construction on the 80-year-old bridge and road surface. The construction project will cost a total of $90 million.

New Jersey's transportation commissioner says the closures will cause “a tremendous amount of pain” as more than 150,000 motorists use the road each day.

As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported, the area is already full of distractions and hazards with cones and flashing lights. Commuters had already begun to see standstill traffic conditions.

“This is just another mess among many,” one commuter from New Jersey said.

Commuters are being urged to travel to the Holland Tunnel or George Washington Bridge or use mass transportation. Though, some say even that’s not an efficient way to travel.

“There’s definitely not enough buses for us to commute to the city,” a commuter from New Jersey told 1010 WINS.

The lane closures come just days after the New Jersey Transit has experienced dozens of train cancellations due to an engineer shortage and track work.

“This sacrifice needs to be made,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, adding that if congestion gets really bad, police will close local roads to accommodate traffic.

Those that are planning on taking Route 495 are being urged to carpool and stagger their travel times.