This summer could be remembered as a traffic hell by the millions of people who travel east over the George Washington Bridge thanks to the closure of a lane on the oft-congested Cross Bronx Expressway from this Friday through Labor Day.
The lane closure will take place on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, which spans the Harlem River and connects Manhattan to the Bronx. The bridge is already a chokepoint, as traffic from both levels of the GWB merge onto one roadway.
Several other significant roadways feed into and out of the span, including the Harlem River Drive and Major Deegan Expressway.
NJDOT officials are urging motorists to take mass transit into New York if possible and consider an “alternate route” or travel during off-peak hours “to limit delays.”
The Port Authority has also been issuing text and email alerts saying essentially the same thing: the long-term I-95 Cross Bronx Expressway construction “may cause significant EB delays at the GWB,” and motorists should therefore “seek alternate routes.”
And NJ Transit issued an advisory Monday, saying that the project will also impact commuters who travel across the GWB by bus “due to a significant reduction in vehicular traffic capacity along the eastbound Cross Bronx Expressway between Manhattan and the Bronx.”
Numerous bus routes operating at the inbound George Washington Bridge and points in and around Fort Lee will see “significant delays” due to increased traffic congestion, especially near the construction site, NJ Transit officials said.
Bus routes from New York City to New Jersey could also be delayed because of the domino effect created by buses arriving late at the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, according to NJ Transit, which identifies the following bus routes as the likeliest to be affected:
- 171: Paterson – New York
- 175: Ridgewood – New York
- 178: Hackensack – New York
- 181: Union City – New York
- 182: Hackensack – New York
- 186: Dumont – New York
- 188: North Bergen – New York
In addition, several bus routes that operate locally in Fort Lee will be impacted by congestion resulting from the construction project, according to NJ Transit, including the following:
- No. 153: Fairview – Fort Lee – New York Express
- No. 154: Fort Lee – Palisades Park – New York
- No. 156 & 156R: Englewood Cliffs – New York
- No. 158: Fort Lee – Edgewater – New York
- No. 159 & 159R: Fort Lee – New York
- No. 755: Edgewater - Fort Lee – Paramus
- No. 756: Englewood Cliffs – Fort Lee - Paramus
NJ Transit advises commuters who use these buses to allow extra travel time, especially during peak hours, and is cross-honoring bus passes and tickets for all of the above routes on trains along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Midtown Direct, Main/Bergen and Pascack Valley Lines from July 16 to July 31, with the exception of travel to and from Metro-North stations.
Visit NJ Transit online for more information or to sign up for “MY TRANSIT” alerts. For real-time traffic information, call 511 or visit 511nj.org; for updates on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge construction project, click here; and to register for George Washington Bridge alerts from the Port Authority, click here.