Motorists used to long waits to get through the New Jersey Turnpike tolls in Bayonne will get some relief from a widening project at Exit 14-A.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority on Wednesday unveiled plans for the estimated $310 million project. The interchange connects the Turnpike's Newark Bay-Hudson County extension with Route 440 and Port Jersey Boulevard in Bayonne.
The project is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in 2018. Crews will widen the toll plaza from 11 lanes to 13 and will replace two bridges with one wider, four-lane bridge and a flyover ramp.
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Bayonne Mayor James Davis said drivers typically have to wait 25 to 30 minutes just to get through the toll plaza each morning.
"Truck traffic has probably doubled here in the last five years," he said.
According to the Turnpike Authority, about 50,000 vehicles — including 6,000 trucks — pass through the interchange on an average weekday.
The project is part of the authority's 10-year, $7 billion capital program and isn't dependent on funding from the state's depleted Transportation Trust Fund, authority spokesman Tom Feeney said.
Davis said easing traffic congestion in the area also will help his efforts to redevelop the former Military Ocean Terminal, which the city acquired more than a decade ago.
"That can't be developed without this being done," Davis said, referring to the widening project.
Last fall, the Turnpike doubled the number of lanes between Interchange 6 and Interchange 9 in New Brunswick, part of a 5-year, $2.3 billion project.