More than 150,000 drivers per day use the heavily traveled Route 495 viaduct to connect from major New Jersey highways to the Lincoln Tunnel and Manhattan. A $90 million project to repair and rebuild the 80-year-old road that kicked into full gear in mid-August is expected to last until 2021. Transportation planners expect long-term lane closures on the 3.5-mile stretch of Route 495 to cause major traffic delays, especially at rush hour, when the highway is already packed. The project is partially funded by money raised by an increase in New Jersey’s gasoline tax. Commuters may grumble about the inconvenience and increased travel times the project will bring, but the cost of not maintaining aging infrastructure can be higher in economic terms and catastrophic in human terms if roads and bridges fail.
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