A "once-in-a-generation project" has closed one span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge for the foreseeable future, which should lead to longer delays.

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The start of a new traffic pattern on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge went into effect on Saturday to allow for more effective traffic flow during the full deck replacement project taking place on the north span, officials say. The north span carries westbound traffic for Interstate 84.

The New York State Bridge Authority announced starting Saturday, Nov. 21, the two lanes coming from westbound I-84 toward the bridge will be routed toward the south span within the vicinity of the toll plaza. Once on the bridge, eastbound and westbound traffic will be separated by a concrete barrier, with two lanes going in each direction.

The two-lane pattern for eastbound traffic was implemented in September. Meanwhile, traffic coming from Route 9D onto the bridge will continue to utilize a single lane on the north span. This pattern will remain in place during evening rush hour periods throughout the construction timeline.

Once on the west approach of the bridge, all westbound I-84 traffic will proceed as normal starting near the Balmville Road overpass.

"This is a once-in-a-generation project taking place at the north span, but an important investment in the busiest crossing operated by the Bridge Authority," NYSBA Acting Executive Director Tara Sullivan said. "By implementing these new traffic patterns, they will allow our contractor to more efficiently complete this major project and provide more effective traffic flow for the traveling public.”

The entire deck replacement project at the north span is expected to wrap up by July 2023, with most work expected to take place in 2021 and 2022, officials say. The New York State Bridge Authority recommends drivers giving themselves more travel time on and around the bridge during construction.

The north span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge is the older of the dual spans, having first opened in 1963. The last deck replacement on the north span took place in the early 1980s, shortly after the south span of the Newburgh-Beacon was opened.

Yonkers Contracting Co. is completing the deck replacement project. Once the project is complete, drivers will experience a brand new road surface while traveling westbound on the span, officials say.

Once complete, the deck replacement of the Newburgh-Beacon north span will cap off a decade-long period of several significant improvements to the Bridge Authority’s most traveled crossing. The south span had its deck replaced between 2012 and 2014 and the Bridge Authority completed the rehabilitation of the I-84 overpass over Route 9W in 2019.

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