NJDOT to close express lanes on Route 80 eastbound
(Trenton) — As part of an initiative to accelerate work on a major reconstruction project on Route 80 in Bergen and Passaic counties, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced today that Route 80's eastbound express lanes will be temporarily closed to traffic from east of the Garden State Parkway in Saddle Brook Township to west of Route 17 in Lodi Borough.
The closure is part of ongoing work to rehabilitate the highway's bridge decks and pavement surfaces in a heavily-traveled eight-mile section from west of Madison Avenue to Polify Road in Bergen and Passaic counties.
Starting on Wednesday, October 7, after the evening rush hour, NJDOT will close the Route 80 eastbound express lanes and shift eastbound traffic to the outer local lanes, including a temporary lane created on the shoulder of the highway. The closure will remain in effect for approximately three weeks. All truck traffic going to the George Washington Bridge should then reenter the express lanes at the end of the closure, using the existing crossover located just west of Route 17.
Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts said the temporary closure of the express lanes will allow the project contractor to work round-the-clock to repair that section, cutting months off construction time and reducing the long-term disruption to traffic.
“By focusing on this phase of the project, NJDOT will accelerate job growth and finish the entire project nearly six months early,” said Commissioner Dilts. “We are also coordinating with other agencies so that morning commuters are well informed and prepared. We will do everything possible to minimize traffic impacts of the lane shift," he added.
Dilts also noted that the temporary closure will enable the contractor to minimize night-time construction noise that would otherwise disturb citizens living along that stretch of Route 80.
In addition to having tow trucks on standby to assist motorists and keep traffic moving, NJDOT will install variable message signs on I-80 and the New Jersey Turnpike to inform motorists of traffic pattern changes during construction. Real time travel and construction information is available online at www.511nj.org.
Throughout the project, 3 lanes will be available, with express lanes for about 3 weeks, followed by local lanes for about 3 weeks. The project aims to have a base course of pavement and all bridge decks rehabilitated by early December.
As part of this project, NJDOT will also repair 25 bridge decks along this segment of I-80, including at the Route 19 interchange. After the eastbound express-lane work is completed, the contractor will perform similar work on Route 80's local lanes in that section of the highway.
Altogether, the $15 million ARRA-funded project will resurface and repair I-80 eastbound from milepost 58.2 to milepost 65.4 in Paterson, Elmwood Park, Saddle Brook, Lodi and Hackensack.
ARRA will stimulate New Jersey's economy by creating or supporting thousands of transportation-related jobs and making long-term improvements to roads, bridges and the transit transportation allocation includes $652 million for highways and bridges and approximately $425 million for transit. That total includes approximately $164 million for county and local transportation priorities and approximately $19.5 million for transportation enhancement projects.