NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With construction under way on Route 495, drivers are being urged to try to avoid the Lincoln Tunnel during the Monday morning rush.
There were already delays on Sunday night due to two lanes being closed, one in each direction, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
“A nightmare and what normally used to take me 10 minutes to get home is 20,” Secaucus resident Lizabeth Canzano said.
The nightmare’s only just begun.
On Sunday evening, around six cars sat almost at a standstill getting from Route 3 on to 495 toward the Lincoln Tunnel. Driver Dwight Gayle told CBS2’s Rozner he was in similar traffic coming out of the city on Saturday at around 3 a.m. He said drivers were confused by the cones taking up one lane, as they had to decide whether to divert to the Turnpike or Route 3.
“It was just slow. It was very bad because people were undecided. They didn’t know what to do,” Gayle said.
NJ TRANSIT tweeted on Sunday night that buses traveling to and from Port Authority Bus Terminal are subject to delays of 15 minutes.
“We’re actually really stressed about it,” Secaucus resident Jessie Lanfranchi said.
Leading into the Monday morning rush, flashing signs along New Jersey highways warn drivers to expect delays and to plan alternate routes, like using the George Washington Bridge or Holland Tunnel. For those who can’t, state Department of Transportation said to take the bus, which will have an express lane in the morning, or leave early.
“I be at work at 7 in morning and I leave my house at 6, so now it’s going to be like 5,” Andrea Lanfranchi said.
More than 150,000 motorists drive over the 80-year-old bridge on Route 495 daily. It’s missing a guard rail and has holes in the steel, among other major problems that until now have been patchwork repairs. The $90 million construction project will take two and a half years.
“We all gotta sacrifice. What if one day somebody’s driving and the whole bridge collapses?” one driver said.
That is the message from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: This sacrifice needs to be made. Officials said if you have to take 495 on Monday, do not get off and take the side roads. Extra police will be on hand to make sure people are not blocking the box. If congestion gets really bad, they will close those local roads, Rozner reported.