When you’re driving a motorhome or pulling a large RV, the last thing you want to have to do is navigate the George Washington Bridge, or any other bridge in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.
It can be a daunting task and one that can lead to some very unpleasant traffic delays.
Fortunately, there are several alternate routes you can take to avoid having to go over the George Washington Bridge when traveling between New Jersey and Manhattan or other points in Northern New Jersey, especially if you are trying to get to New Jersey’s southern region.
Take it from me. Planning your route through a busy metropolis, over bridges, and through tunnels is best done ahead of time.
So if you know you’ll be headed that way, keep reading to find out how to best travel through heavy traffic and difficult lane changes.
What Is The George Washington Bridge?
The George Washington Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge that spans the Hudson River in New York City, connecting upper Manhattan and Fort Lee, NJ.
It is one of the busiest bridges in the world, carrying more than 103 million vehicles per year. The bridge was designed by Swiss immigrant Othmar Ammann and opened to traffic on October 24, 1931.
Why Should I Avoid It?
That’s enough history lessons. Let’s get to the nitty gritty. As mentioned above, the George Washington Bridge can be a very crowded and congested area during peak hours.
It is also one of the most expensive bridges to cross in terms of tolls. Finally, if you are driving an RV or other large vehicle, it’s important to note that the bridge does not accommodate vehicles over 40 feet long.
The main reason you’ll want to avoid it is that if your RV is big enough, it simply won’t fit. However, navigating heavy traffic in even a small RV isn’t fun.
So, if you want to just completely avoid the GWB, here are some alternate routes to consider.
Best Alternate Routes To Avoid George Washington Bridge
1. Lincoln Tunnel
The Lincoln Tunnel is a 1.5-mile long tunnel that connects Weehawken, NJ to Manhattan’s west side via the Holland Tunnel.
This route will be slightly longer than crossing the bridge but it does provide an alternate route if you are traveling with a large RV or towing a trailer.
This route is usually faster than crossing over the bridge and has much less traffic.
2. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
This bridge connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY, and is slightly longer than the George Washington Bridge but offers beautiful views of the New York City skyline as you cross it. It also has no restrictions on the size of vehicles.
3. Interstate 78
Another option if you are traveling from Northern New Jersey to Southern New Jersey is to take Interstate 78.
This route will take you through the scenic countryside of Central New Jersey and is usually free from traffic problems encountered when crossing the GWB.
4. The New Jersey Turnpike
This is a toll highway that runs through the entire length of New Jersey and connects to other highways in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
It’s the most direct route when traveling between New Jersey and other parts of the mid-Atlantic region, but it can also be heavily congested during peak times.
5. The Holland Tunnel
The Holland Tunnel is a submerged tunnel that connects lower Manhattan with Jersey City, New Jersey.
It is one of the longest underwater vehicular tunnels in the world and provides an alternate route to bypass traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge.
6. Tappan Zee Bridge
One of the most popular options is to cross over from New Jersey into Rockland County in New York via the Tappan Zee Bridge.
This route will take you around 15 miles out of your way, but it is also an incredibly scenic route with plenty of views along the Hudson River.
Should I Take Tappan Zee or George Washington Bridge?
Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you are in a hurry and have no size restrictions on your vehicle, then taking the George Washington Bridge might be the fastest route for you.
Keep in mind that the tools on GWB can be expensive and traffic can get very congested.
If you have an RV or trailer that can’t fit under the bridge or want to take in some of New York’s spectacular views, then taking one of the alternate routes mentioned above might be the better option for you.
Just make sure to check traffic reports and plan your route ahead of time so that you can get where you need to go without any hassles.
How Do I Avoid Tolls in NYC?
If you’re looking to save money, there are a few ways to avoid tolls when traveling between New Jersey and New York City.
One of the best ways is to use public transportation such as the PATH train or NJ Transit buses. These services provide direct connections between NYC and many New Jersey towns for a fraction of the cost of crossing a bridge or tunnel.
While public transit isn’t an option if you’re trying to move your RV, it can be a great option for RVers who are staying nearby and want to do some sight seeing.
Additionally, many of the bridges and tunnels in New York City offer discount programs for frequent users or discounted plans for commercial vehicles.
These programs can help you save money over time if you plan to make regular trips between New Jersey and NYC.
Finally, some roads around the George Washington Bridge are toll-free, while others may only require payment during certain times of the day.
Check your route ahead of time to make sure you know which roads require tolls and which are free so that you can plan the most cost-effective route for your journey.
How To Get From Philadelphia To Boston Avoiding New York
If you’re traveling from Philadelphia to Boston and want to avoid the traffic congestion of New York City, then taking Interstate 95 is a great option.
This route will take you through Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts with no need to enter NYC.
Going this route will allow you all the scenic views of New York and the Hudson River without the hassle of dealing with the traffic and tolls of the George Washington Bridge.
You can also make a few stops along the way to see some other attractions like Mystic Seaport, or spend some time in Providence, Rhode Island.
This route will take you around 400 miles and will likely take 8-10 hours of driving depending on the traffic conditions and how often you stop along the way.
It may double your trip time, but it will save you money on tolls and the stress and frustration of traffic. Make sure to plan ahead and check traffic reports so that you can make your journey as efficient as possible.
What Happens if I Can’t Avoid the George Washington Bridge?
If you have to cross the George Washington Bridge, then it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for traffic delays.
Make sure to check the current traffic conditions before setting out so that you can determine if taking this route is your best option.
You should also be aware of the tolls associated with crossing the bridge. As of 2019, the toll for passenger cars is $16. Be sure that you have enough money on hand to pay the toll as there are no discounts or automated payment options available.
Finally, make sure to keep your eyes open for any traffic signs and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
The George Washington Bridge can get very congested and you want to make sure that you’re following all of the rules of the road so that you can get safely to your destination.
With a little planning and preparation, crossing the George Washington Bridge doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way with minimal stress or hassle.
Other Alternate routes;
Traveling between New Jersey and New York City can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re trying to avoid traffic and tolls.
However, with a little planning ahead and some savvy route selection, it is possible to get from point A to point B without having to cross the George Washington Bridge.
There are many options for public transportation and toll-free roads, as well as discounts and other programs that can help you save time and money on your travels.
Just be sure to plan ahead and check traffic reports so that you can make the most efficient journey possible. Good luck!