BAYONNE AND BEYOND -- The New Jersey Turnpike Authority announced on June 22 that it will add three lanes to the extremely congested Turnpike Extension 14A exit into Bayonne.
A study conducted several years ago by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority showed that with the exception of interchange 8A in Monroe Township, the Bayonne exit is the least functional of any interchange in the state.
Even on days when there is no accident or breakdown on the Turnpike bridge that connects Bayonne, Jersey City, and the Holland Tunnel to the main branch of the Turnpike near Newark Airport, backups at rush hour are routine and can often leave drivers frustrated and enraged.
This represents a shift in plans that were proposed earlier this year when the Turnpike officials seemed to be leaning toward a plan that would divert truck traffic from Bayonne to the Jersey City exit.
In the 1950s and over the years, main arteries of the Turnpike have been widened, but not the Turnpike Extension servicing exits 14A, 14B, and 14C – this despite the fact that some estimates suggest as many as 100,000 vehicles now use the extension each way daily, and that traffic into and out of Bayonne will increase dramatically with the city’s continuing development.
This is part of a $500 million reconstruction effort of the Turnpike extension, which will include work on the Newark Bay Bridge. If everything goes according to schedule, the interchange work will be completed by 2016.
A public hearing is planned for July 12 at the Washington Community School in Bayonne and on July 13 at the Fred Martin School in Jersey City. Both meetings will run from 5 to 7 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m. of the proposed plans.