Fire Near Holland Tunnel Increases Local Traffic

Last Friday, Sept. 29, an industrial building fire caused structural damage to the NJ-139 westbound ramp near the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City, closing three westbound lanes. According to the Port Authority of NY & NJ, it has caused significant delays and heavy gridlock throughout Manhattan, Jersey City, and even parts of Brooklyn. Public officials began proposing plans to alleviate some of the traffic and congestion while the ramp undergoes repairs.

Most officials have recommended to the public to use mass transit if possible. Cities are ensuring that buses, light rails, and trains can accommodate the rise in use.

“There was a slight uptick in customers utilizing our #68 bus route to Jersey City for transfers to/from PATH during morning and afternoon peak periods,” said Jim Smith, an NJ Transit spokesman, to NJ.com. “Anecdotally, operators report an uptick in ridership with no accounts of exceeding capacity.”

For Stevens, the increased traffic has created an inconvenience for commuting students.

Timothy Griffin, Chief of Stevens Campus Police Department, said in an email that commuter students should “be prepared to experience severe delays around the Holland Tunnel area, both to and from the Hoboken area, especially during rush hour.” Due to the lane closures, traffic in the afternoon and during rush hour has resulted in “total gridlock,” which has been an inconvenience for Stevens students who have to commute through or near this area. “Commuters are strongly urged to make alternate plans and to use mass transit whenever possible.”

Repairs to the ramp began shortly after the fire caused the damage, but the lanes are expected to be closed for at least several weeks or more.

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Matthew Cunningham

Student, athlete, writer, political nerd, and patriarchy smasher