New Jersey/Center City Commute to Be Hellish All Summer

Your commute might've just gotten worse. Starting today, PATCO trains will only run on the north side — and up to two lanes will be closed on the bridge.

Traffic on the Ben Franklin Bridge

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Commute between Center City Philadelphia and New Jersey? Starting next week, your trip over the Ben Franklin Bridge is going to suck, reports KYW 1060’s Mike DeNardo. Okay, he didn’t say it like that, but that’s what I got out of his report.

PATCO riders have been dealing with slow trains due to track work since a two-year, $103 million refurbishment project on the bridge began in January. Today, PATCO closed the south track; it’s expected to last 60 days. PATCO expects to lose 300,000 riders due to the summer closure.

Drivers start to feel the pain of bridge work starting today as well. During rush hour, one lane will be closed on the bridge, with two lanes shuttered during off-peak times.

At a meeting earlier this month, Collingswood residents voiced their complaints:

“How is this going to be safe, with packed trains with nothing to hold onto, in the summer when it’s going to be 100 degrees outside?” asked Lynn Lukaszewski, a Cherry Hill resident, who called out her question during Hanson’s presentation.

Hmm. I hope it’s not going to be 100 degrees too often this summer.