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The Latest: On day 1 of huge road project, drivers get break

August 20, 2018

UNION CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the first full day of lane closures on the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The first day of a major road project that was expected to bring epic traffic jams for New York commuters has failed to live up to the hype.

Monday is the first full day of lane closures on the approach to Lincoln Tunnel from the New Jersey Turnpike. One lane will be closed in each direction for the next 2 ½ years to accommodate the rebuilding of an 80-year-old bridge.

About 150,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily.

Traffic moved smoothly during the morning and evening commutes Monday, though there were reports that some of the other Hudson River crossings were slightly busier.

Motorists have been urged to take public transportation, stagger their driving times or take alternate routes.

A New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman says motorists should continue to heed that advice and not get lulled into a false sense of security by Monday’s developments.

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9 a.m.

The predicted commuter nightmare hasn’t materialized for motorists using the Lincoln Tunnel to get into New York, at least on the first day.

Monday is the first full day of lane closures on the approach to the tunnel from the New Jersey Turnpike. The lanes will be closed for the next 2 ½ years to accommodate the rebuilding of an 80-year-old bridge.

Traffic moved smoothly during Monday morning’s commute. Motorists have been urged to take public transportation or stagger their travel times, or use other routes into the city such as the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City.

Transportation officials have warned that the construction project will cause significant disruptions to motorists and residents in the area around the tunnel.

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1:40 a.m.

A new era of headaches is starting for New York-area commuters.

Monday marks the first full weekday of lane closures on the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel, already one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the northeastern U.S.

One lane will be closed in each direction for the next 2 ½ years to accommodate the rebuilding of an 80-year-old bridge and road surface.

New Jersey’s transportation commissioner says the closures will cause “a tremendous amount of pain.” More than 150,000 motorists use the road each day.

She and others are urging commuters to carpool, stagger their travel times and use alternate forms of transportation.

The lane closures come as New Jersey Transit has experienced dozens of recent train cancellations due to an engineer shortage and track-safety work.

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