Lincoln Tunnel Helix Replacement Program

Overview: Constructed in 1937, the Lincoln Tunnel and Helix opened to traffic with six travel lanes connecting the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey Route 495. Today, the Lincoln Tunnel, at 81 years old, is one of the busiest crossings in the world, carrying over 38 million vehicles per year. The Lincoln Tunnel Helix serves as a critical link in the regional transportation network, connecting major New Jersey highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey Routes 1 & 9, Route 3, and Route 495, to the Lincoln Tunnel Toll Plaza. In 1957, responding to growing traffic volumes, the Helix was widened to its current seven lane configuration.  In addition to passenger cars and trucks, each weekday morning, the busiest bus lane in the nation known as the Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL), operates at the tunnel. The XBL is a 2.5-mile contra-flow weekday morning peak period (6:00 – 10:00 AM) commuter bus lane traveling along New Jersey Route 495, leading from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel. The XBL handles approximately 1,800 buses that carry about 72,000 passengers. The XBL buses represent more than half of the total number of customers that travel through the Lincoln Tunnel during each morning commute.

The structure has had many repairs, including the Helix Repaving which was completed in 2012 and the “Helix Fix,” which was completed in 2015. Today, the condition of the existing roadway needs to be addressed. The Helix Replacement will widen lane widths, add shoulders and allow for broader radius curves. Due to this project, traffic and safety conditions will improve, and we will be able to handle traffic incidents on the roadway with less inconvenience to drivers.

Purpose: The Port Authority of NY and NJ is evaluating replacement of the Lincoln Tunnel Helix. The purpose of the project is to replace the aging and deteriorated structure with a new roadway that meets current highway and safety standards.

Scope of Work:  Replace the existing structure with a new roadway that meets current highway and safety standards.

Schedule: Construction is anticipated to start in 2022 and end in 2027.

Project Location:


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