Pope Francis Image via Kino Border Initiative

Pope Francis Image via Kino Border Initiative

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has sent out a traffic alert in preparation for a visit from Pope Francis on Sept. 26-27.

The Pope will be in New York City on Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25, where he will say Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Madison Square Garden and also address the United Nations.

Pope Francis will arrive in Philadelphia on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating Mass at the Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday, September 27.

N.J. DOT has set up a link to cover all questions and possible traffic impacts of the visit and is cautioning drivers of the likely gridlock that will occur during that week.

The state agency  is warning drivers to avoid portions of Interstate 676 and Route 30 approaching the Ben Franklin Bridge if at all possible.

Other affected routes will include Interstate 295, Routes 38, 42, 45, 47, 55, 70, 73, 76, 130, 168 and 322. Roadways such as Interstate 95, Interstate 195 and Route 1 will also see significant traffic impacts.

An estimated 2 to 6 million people are anticipated to travel to the area to see the Pope-- with 50% of those arriving by car, according to the N.J. DOT. There will be anywhere from 250,000 to 850,000 extra cars and 10,000 to 20,000 extra buses on the road to accommodate the influx of people.

The 511 New Jersey’s website will have up-to-the-minute traffic information. N.J. DOT also recommends downloading the Safe Trip NJ App, which is hands- and eyes-free and contains the latest information.

For complete up-to-date information on the Papal visit, click here.