The closing of the Pulaski Skyway is an imminent transportation nightmare that awaits the residents of Jersey City in February 2014. The residents of Jersey City are petitioning the NJ Senate and General Assembly Transportation Committees to hold a special hearing into this proposal from NJ’s Department of Transportation (NJDOT).
The residents of Jersey City will shoulder the greatest burden of the closure. The City’s infrastructure will see more traffic, our businesses will be harder to reach, and our neighborhoods will be more frequently traveled by commuters seeking to escape crowded roads.
Undoubtedly, the Pulaski Skyway is a major transportation artery and serves as an integral roadway for the region. For more than 80 years, the Skyway has been saving commuters time and easing congestion and traffic for the entire region.
We recognize that the Pulaski Skyway was one of the first superhighways constructed, and is long overdue for rehabilitation and reconstruction. According to an August 2012 report on National Public Radio, more than 8,000 bridges in the United States are unsafe and are in dire need of repair. With that said, we firmly support repairs on the Pulaski Skyway to ensure our aging overpass meets today’s safety standards.
However, our concern is that suspending all Northbound travel on the Skyway will have deleterious effects on Jersey City’s infrastructure and residents, especially in the event of an unfortunate emergency. A complete shutdown of the Northbound lanes of the Skyway would effectively render transportation in the region a virtual nightmare. Jersey City’s infrastructure is already in need of major repairs and inadequately handles traffic as-is.
We strongly urge the entire Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees to consider a special hearing into this proposal from NJDOT. The residents of Jersey City, the 2nd largest municipality in the State, at least deserve the opportunity to discuss the proposal with our public officials.