Work On Alexander Hamilton Bridge Could Cause Backups For Miles In N.J.

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Enjoy the commute across the George Washington Bridge while you can.

A construction project starting this weekend on the New York side of the bridge is sure to create a traffic nightmare for commuters in New Jersey.

And, it seems, many drivers are just learning about it.

“We were very surprised. It would have been nice if it started in May or April so it would have been over the summer,” Mary Jo Evans of Bergenfield, N.J. told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Wednesday.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Nerves became frayed as anyone driving in from the Garden State heard about construction on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York. It carries Interstate-95 over the Harlem River from the GWB. The project is expected to back up traffic in New Jersey, all the way from the Turnpike and Route 80.

“It would be horrible. We’d have to leave an hour before,” said Paulette Moore of Bergenfield.

The middle section of the city-bound lanes of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge will close Friday night.

Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, trucks can only use the upper level of the GWB. So, the lower level lanes will be pinched from two to one lane to allow trucks to exit on the Major Deegan Expressway, which takes them to Bronx businesses.

To avoid the traffic, cars may jump on the upper level, creating more of a mess.

“You’ve got four lanes of trucks going into two in one sharp go. Mathematically, that just doesn’t work,” said Jonathan Woolley of Fort Lee.

Woolley said towns like Fort Lee and Leonia will feel the brunt of this project with gridlock.

“A lot of people already cut through Fort Lee to get to the bridge. If there is a big Yankee game it will make it worse,” he said.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

This won’t be the only construction in our area. There are numerous projects on the New Jersey side and starting in August construction will start on the Lincoln Tunnel helix, making it even more difficult for drivers.

The New York Department of Transportation said because of the complications associated with trucks having to exit at the Major Deegan. Switching lanes into the opposite direction won’t be possible.

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