Residents Say DOT Is 'Over Doing It' While Agency Contends It's Being Practical

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey drivers are outraged over what seems like too many highway construction projects happening at the same time.

The combined effect is a traffic nightmare and has many residents asking why the state can’t focus on one project at a time.

During rush hour, the last exit in New Jersey off of Route 495, right before the Lincoln Tunnel, is always jammed. But now, it is even more backed up because of construction and it’s driving commuters crazy.

“I lose probably an hour and a half in the morning and probably an hour coming back,” Mike Giddens, of Weehawken, told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Monday.

It’s not the only construction project on New Jersey highways heading to New York City crossings.

It’s a nightmare everywhere. Work is being done on the Turnpike and there are projects on Route 78, the Turnpike extension to the Holland Tunnel and routes 3 and 17, where the northbound lanes were shut down this weekend because of a New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad project.

“We didn’t get any kind of notification, any kind of warning and we lost so much business over the weekend,” gas station owner Raffi Korogoulyn said.

“I think they’re over doing it. They can do it little at a time and make it a lot easier and do it more late at night,” Angelo Dinorcio said.

CBS 2’s Sloan asked the Department of Transportation why all of the projects were going on at the same time and why they can’t concentrate on one and then move on to the other.

A DOT spokesperson said multiple agencies are involved in projects across the northern part of the state, which is densely populated with a lot of old roads.

“It would be impossible to keep up with maintenance and rehabilitation demands if we were to work on one project at a time,” the spokesperson said.

Traffic could get much worse come August when the Port Authority starts a three-year project on the helix into the Lincoln Tunnel.

All of the agencies said they have meetings to coordinate projects and ease the pain to commuters. This weekend, the northbound lanes of Route 17 will shut down.

Have you been affected by the construction in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments section below…

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