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Pulaski Skyway

  • Route 1 at NJ Route 9 Jersey City, NJ 07306

The historic Pulaski Skyway takes US 1/9 into Jersey City, and the route exits the freeway at Tonnele Circle to head north into Bergen County. US 1/9 turns onto US 46 as a jersey-freeway, the three routes run northeast to the George Washington Bridge Plaza, where they merge into I-95. US 46 ends in the middle of the bridge, which crosses the Hudson River into New York, and US 9 exits just beyond onto Broadway in Manhattan, but US 1 stays with I-95 onto the Cross-Bronx Expressway, exiting in the Bronx onto Webster Avenue. The construction of the Pulaski Skyway, part of the 13.2-mile-long "Route 1 Extension" project, was not only a reaction to the opening of the Holland Tunnel, but also an attempt to address the chronic freight congestion in the area of New York Harbor. The historical development of the Port of New York, with the majority of the shipping piers located in Manhattan and Brooklyn and the railroad yards located in New Jersey, created an excessively complicated goods handling system - involving a series of transfers between lighters, freight cars and trucks - to handle one-fifth of the nation's transport needs. During World War I, a combined shortage of rolling stock, ships and manpower resulted in a situation where, by November 1917, 180,000 rail cars were trapped in Eastern ports, creating dramatic shortages in the New York area. This congestion, combined with the passage of more than 1.3 million troops during the severe winter of 1917-1918, prompted leaders to press for new highways. Immediately after World War I, the New Jersey State Highway Department drafted plans to extend Route 1 from Elizabeth, through Newark and Jersey City, to the proposed Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel (now known as the Holland Tunnel) and lower Manhattan. The proposed "express highway" was to have four 10-foot-wide traffic lanes (two in each direction), plus an additional 10-foot-wide lane for emergency use. Other innovations included median separation and grade-separated interchanges.