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Wisniewski: Human Cost of Closing Pulaski Skyway Must be Measured
Cannot Overlook the Impact of 2-Year Closure on Commuters, Local Businesses
As the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee held a special hearing in Hudson County on Thursday, Chairman John S. Wisniewski cautioned that any plan to repair and upgrade the Pulaski Skyway needs to weigh the human cost on impacted commuters and businesses.
Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the Deputy Speaker, issued the following statement:
"The Pulaski Skyway is a vital artery linking Hudson and Essex counties to each other and to Manhattan. It is an artery that has succumbed to years of neglect and abuse and one that needs significant repair.
"However, any repair plan that is embarked upon must not overlook the human cost that partial or complete closures may have on commuters and local businesses. Does saving between $100 to $200 million dollars with a complete northbound closure wind up costing commuters and businesses more than that amount over the length of repairs? Will commuters already facing a grueling commute need to wake up hours earlier just to get to their jobs? Will local businesses lose customers due to commuter travel patterns changing?
"All these questions need to be addressed and, if the answer to any of these questions has a significant detrimental impact, then we need to take the time to review alternative repair solutions."
First opened to vehicle traffic in 1932, the Pulaski Skyway is listed on the New Jersey and national registries of historic places. The 81-year old, 3.5-mile elevated roadway has 108 spans, including two 550-foot spans over the Hackensack and Passaic rivers and carries more than 67,000 cars daily.
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