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(TRENTON) - Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee member Ruben J. Ramos, Jr., on Thursday raised concerns at a special hearing that Hudson County residents and officials have had little input on the state Department of Transportation's (DOT) plan to close the Pulaski Skyway for two years for significant repairs and overhauls.
Ramos (D-Hudson) issued the following statement:
"Repairing the Skyway is necessary; no one is debating that. However, the impact that a full closure will have on residents of Hudson County - from longer commutes to alternate routes snaking through residential communities - needs to be clearly articulated.
"We don't want to see back roads and quiet communities suddenly explode with diverted traffic. We don't want to see commuters having to add hours and miles to their travels to and from work. And we don't want to repair the Skyway only to have alternative routes suffer accelerated wear and tear.
"Local stakeholders need to be aware of, and consulted on, alternative routes, so that they can alert residents and, when necessary, raise their concerns to DOT and come up with viable secondary solutions.
"This needs to be done, but it needs to be done in a way that has the least detrimental impact on Hudson County residents."
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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"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).- NJTV
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