Will Traveling Through EWR Soon Seem Nightmarish For Some?

There are three things happening, or will be happening in the very near future [simultaneously, even] that might make my home airport, EWR, nightmarish to travel to and from due to 3 distinct “hiccups”. Those who I can imagine who will be suffering the most are those traveling to NYC, using Amtrak as a codeshare, or those who simply rely on public transportation (the AirTrain) to get to/from EWR.

Earlier this week Scott at Hack My Trip blogged about hiccup #1 – EWR shutting down it’s airport monorail. In short, starting May 1, EWR’s AirTrain will remain closed for 75 days for construction. This halt will be replaced with shuttle buses from Newark Penn Station and I believe connections will be anything but seamless. This directly impacts customers who book their flights out of “ZFV”, an Amtrak codeshare rail connection from Philadelphia.

Another bump (hiccup #2) that EWR travelers might face is the closure of the Pulaski Skyway. The Pulaski Skyway is a major highway that connects NJ to Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.

On April 12, 2014, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, (NJDOT), will begin construction to replace the deck on the Pulaski Skyway that will close the northbound lanes toward Jersey City and New York for approximately two years (!!). Many travelers who rely on cabs or car service to get from EWR to NYC might most definitely will experience increased fares and severe traffic.

Lastly, EWR hiccup #3 affects all travelers, even my fellow in-state New Jerseyans. Starting April 2014 and lasting all the way until December 2014 (wishfully thinking), the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey recently announced the closure of Runway 4L/22R due to rehabilitation construction.

PANYNJ states:

Runway 4L-22R will be closed for 60 consecutive days beginning April 1, 2014 and ending June 1, 2014 and will operate at reduced capacity from June 1 to June 15. The runway will be closed an additional 10 days beginning September 20 and ending September 30. With the exception of the closures, the airport’s three runways will be fully utilized during construction.

Things might be slightly better for those whose start and end points of travel remain in New Jersey, but with a runway closing, the hiccups of travel delays and the possibility of tighter/missed connections will be inevitable.

I can imagine that travelers who are aware of these three disruptions will consider traveling out of JFK and LGA as an alternative. Here I am optimistically hoping that airlines will offer irresistible fare deals out of EWR in order to remain competitive as a NYC airport.

Luckily, I flew from EWR – Aruba and back on April 3 and 6th, respectively and didn’t experience any delays on either end.

Just curious – do these/have these/will these 3 EWR hiccups impact your 2014 travel plans? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

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  1. Karen says

    Thanks for the details on this. I was debating between a flight out of EWR or one out of JFK for a June trip. EWR would have been tight for me with getting out of work & getting to the airport. JFK was a better time, but more expensive. You just tipped the scales for me – JFK it is.

  2. Mark says

    Flew roundtrip EWR-LAS Saturday to Wednesday. Delays on take off. On return, forced to circle until our turn, and then sat on the tarmac for 10 minutes because of a traffic jam. Clear weather both days – but you could see all the construction outside of the plane. It is a mess.

    Cab driver didn’t know about Pulaski – drove in circles for 20 minutes. Fortunately, flat fare.

    News to me about the monorail. Ugh.

  3. ed says

    will be there for a conference in first week of may, any thought on which transportation I should use from United terminal to manhattan (madison square garden) ? worst case scenario i just use uber i guess.

  4. Sam says

    I’d add a fourth problem: For all of 2014, there is no weekend PATH service to the World Trade Center. So even if you get a shuttle bus to Newark Penn, there is no service to lower Manhattan. (You need to change trains at Journal Sq and ride, via Hoboken, to Christopher Street to get close to downtown.). Getting to/from lower Manhattan to Newark on the weekends is truly an obstacle course.

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