Manhattan-Bound Lanes Closed At Night For 4 Years

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There’s a major traffic alert for anyone driving from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Starting Monday night, and for the next four years, the Brooklyn Bridge will not be an option during the overnight hours.

That has drivers fuming.

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All three Manhattan-bound lanes will be closed every overnight until the year 2014, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

“Four years. Okay. That’s a bit excessive don’t you think?” Brooklyn resident Curtis Bryant said.

The $500 million project uses a combination of city and federal stimulus funds, and puts hundreds of New Yorkers to work repairing, rehabbing and repainting this landmark.

But it also has the potential to thrust drivers into states of confusion.

“People are going to have to be very creative about how they get into Manhattan during those times,” driver Valerie Willoughby said.

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Here is the schedule: Manhattan-bound lanes close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays, from 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Saturdays, and 12:01 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sundays.

“I think that’s tragic. I mean, I use it to go to work like every other day. So, traffic jams … I’m not really feeling that at all,” a driver said.

Occasionally the bridge will be shut entirely. There are 24 weekends with dates yet to be announced over the four years.

“There will be plenty of advance notice, a lot of measures that the city will be taking to help that. My best advice is avoid driving on those weekends,” transportation engineer Sam Schwartz said.

The main alternate routes — the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Williamsburg Bridge — are expected to be bumper to bumper.

“It’s gonna be a lot of traffic,” one driver said.

“I mean I gotta deal with it,” one cabbie added.

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“What can we do? Can’t do nothing!” said another city resident.