The Helix Fix – The Lincoln Tunnel Helix Rehabilitation Project

  • About
  • Helix Detour
  • Progress
  • Community
  • Benefits
  • Email Updates
  • Contact
The Lincoln Tunnel Helix

About

On November 15, 2011, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a project to repair the Lincoln Tunnel Route 495 roadway approach, known as the Helix. This iconic roadway structure leading directly into the Lincoln Tunnel is more than 70 years old, and is nearing the end of its useful life. The Lincoln Tunnel Helix Rehabilitation Project will repair this crucial infrastructure over a period of three years in order to extend the roadway’s usability.

Phase I – Eastbound towards New York — August 6, 2012-November 15, 2013 – REHABILITATION COMPLETE

Phase II – Westbound towards New Jersey — April 2014-December 2014

Estimated Work Hours – Off-Peak Overnights – Westbound (to New Jersey)

  • Sunday through Thursday, 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning
  • Friday through Saturday, Friday 11:59 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday morning
  • Sunday morning 1 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Alternate Travel

Customers planning to use the Lincoln Tunnel during this time period should seek alternate routes and consider mass transit options such as PATH and NJ TRANSIT. Visit 511 New Jersey and 511 New York for regional traffic and transit information.

Background and Staging

Now about 74 years old, the Lincoln Tunnel is one of the busiest crossings in the world, carrying over 40 million vehicles per year. In addition to passenger cars and trucks, each weekday morning, the busiest bus lane in the nation known as the Exclusive Bus Lane, or XBL, operates at the tunnel. The XBL is a 2.5-mile contra-flow commuter bus lane traveling along New Jersey Route 495, leading from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel. It operates during the weekday morning peak period (from approximately 6:00 am until 10:00 am), with Lincoln Tunnel staff setting up the lane about a half-hour beforehand each day. The XBL handles approximately 1,800 buses that carry about 63,000 passengers each day during the morning peak, representing more than half of the total number of customers that travel through the Lincoln Tunnel during this period.

The Port Authority is committed to keeping this important public infrastructure operational and in good repair. Performing work at a time when traffic is at its lightest will cause the least impact to most commuters, workers, travelers, and businesses. Since the tunnel roadway undergoes heavy traffic use during the daytime, the roadway repairs will be conducted during overnight hours.

Helix Detour

A traffic diversion plan has been developed to allow the Lincoln Tunnel to remain open to customers during construction while minimizing delays and inconvenience. Westbound traffic will be detoured to eastbound Helix lanes and eastbound Helix traffic will exit at the Pleasant Avenue off ramp and use local street access to the tunnel via JFK Boulevard East. The eastbound detour will begin one hour prior to the westbound closings (noted below) on weeknights, and a half hour earlier on weekends.

WESTBOUND (TO NJ) WORK HOURS

  • Sunday through Thursday, 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning
  • Friday through Saturday, Friday 11:59 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday morning
  • Sunday morning 1 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Detour Map

Map of Closure and Detour


A critical component of the westbound detour is the movable traffic gate, which enables us to reroute traffic within minutes. The below video illustrates how quickly employees can position the gate, reducing the need for a significant hold of westbound traffic.

Progress

Phase I – Eastbound towards New York — August 6, 2012-November 15, 2013 – REHABILITATION COMPLETE

Phase II – Westbound towards New Jersey — April 2014-December 2014

Community

Due to the high volume of traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel Helix, there is never a convenient time to conduct work at the facility. The Helix Fix will continue to operate during overnight hours in order to maintain commuter bus and peak traffic operations during the daytime. Delays that result from the closure of the westbound helix could cause extra traffic on local streets in Manhattan at the tunnel approaches. There  may be some traffic on local streets in the town of Weehawken due to the diversion from the Helix overpass.We will do everything possible to reduce traffic by encouraging motorists to use alternate routes.

In addition, in order to perform certain types of repair work, access to the underside of the helix above local streets will continue to be required. Single lane closures on local streets in one or both directions will periodically occur during off-peak daytime and overnight hours. One lane in each direction will be maintained while the work is being performed and all lanes will be reopened during non-working hours.

The Port Authority is aware that roadwork can involve some degree of noise and is taking action to manage the impact to the surrounding community.  Noise-monitoring devices will be installed at strategic locations to ensure that the work does not exceed noise level limits.


Benefits

Roadway

Work being performed on the Lincoln Tunnel Helix will provide a smoother riding surface, improve safety and reduce delays for periodic maintenance.

Local Jobs

This project is expected to result in 210 direct job-years and direct payroll wages of $17 million. The total economic activity impact amounts to 470 total job-years, $27 million in wages and $123 million in economic activity over the life of the project.

Email Updates

Completing all of the contact fields gives the Port Authority the ability to send you invitations to meetings on project progress and to send you periodic project updates.










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Ways To Stay Informed

511
Visit 511 New Jersey and 511 New York for regional traffic and transit information.

Bridge & Tunnel Alerts
Subscribe to Lincoln Tunnel Alerts and have notifications about incidents or events that may delay your trip across the Lincoln Tunnel sent to you via text or email. NOTE: Standard text rates may apply.

Weekly Traffic Advisory
Click here to view the Lincoln Tunnel Weekly Traffic Advisory.  You will also be able to view advisories for other Port Authority Tunnel and Bridge crossings as well as our PATH rail system.

Contact

If you have  questions related to The Lincoln Tunnel Helix Rehabilitation Project, email us at thehelixfix@panynj.gov or call 1-855-744-0144.

Contact Us

If you have questions related to The Lincoln Tunnel Helix Rehabilitation Project, please email us at thehelixfix@panynj.gov or call
1-855-744-0144.


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