Part of FDR Drive to Close for 24 Hours

Drivers bracing for hellish traffic

If you travel on the FDR Drive, you may want to figure out an alternate route – at least until Thursday night.

A huge section of the FDR will be closed for 24 hours so that construction crews can prop up the ground and repair pilings that support the highway, according to a published report.

Here's a headache for commuters: All three northbound lanes of the East River crossing, between E. Houston and E. 23rd Sts., will be shut down for a full day beginning at 9 p.m. tonight, reports to the Daily News.

Authorities say the construction isn't being done for fear the highway is going to fall into the river, reports the paper. If that were the case, the thoroughfare would already be shut down, they said.

But some pilings were threatened when a hole showed up on the roadway's edge near the river, sources told the News. Officials want to fix up some patches and construct temporary bridging below the pavement so they can begin to address the problem and ward off future complications. 

Drivers will be directed around the blocked-off section to First Avenue – a detour that is sure to cause massive traffic jams during the morning and evening rush hours tonight and tomorrow. The West Side Highway will likely see a surge in traffic as drivers try to figure out ways to get around the detour, reports the News.

Traffic could be affected for more than just a day, officials warn. While two of the northbound lanes are expected to reopen tomorrow night, one will be closed indefinitely.

Drivers who traverse the FDR on a daily basis are dreading the closures, to say the least.

"It becomes a nightmare when they do that," cab driver Rafael Rodriguez told the News. "Everyone takes First Ave. It clogs the streets and becomes hell."

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