Is Newark ready for 23,000 VMA-goers?

Crews began preparations Friday for MTV’s Video Music Awards at Newark’s Prudential Center, where more than 20,000 people will storm into the city on Monday.

Newark’s Public Safety Director, Anthony Ambrose, warns the show could gridlock streets, much  like last Nov. 15’s rush-hour ‘Snowmageddon,’ a traffic jam that caused chaos among commuters. A lack of preparedness by state officials was blamed for the incident.

Hoping to avoid a repeat, Ambrose will mobilize the Office of Emergency Management and plans to put at least 375 city cops on duty, as well as federal, state and county agents. He expects 14,000 to 15,000 ticket-holders will pack the venue and up to 7,500 more star-struck fans will crowd around for a glimpse of celebrities, all part of the spectacle.

Newark Police aim to have most right-of-ways around the Prudential Center closed to traffic by 10 a.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday. Ambrose urged people attending the event to rely on NJ Transit.

“This event ends at 10:45. They assured the administration that there will be extra trains, and they will go later,” said Ambrose.

NJ Transit will add just one extra train, at 11:30 p.m., from Newark Penn Station to New York. On Friday, NJ’s statewide transit tweeted out a warning to customers, speculating that Penn Station New York, Secaucus Junction and Newark Penn Station will all likely see a bevy of new rail riders.

Due to traffic congestion resulting from the VMAs, Newark will be experiencing several road closures. Stay informed about alternative routes with street closure information below.

Sunday, August 25th, from 1 to 8 p.m.

•    Mulberry Street between Market Street and Lafayette Street

Monday, August 26th, from 8:30 to 2 a.m.

•    Mulberry Street, from Lafayette Street to Market Street

•    Franklin Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10:30 to 2 a.m. (Extended Street Closure)

•    Mulberry Street, from Raymond Boulevard and Green Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10 to 2 a.m.

•    Market Street between Washington Street and McCarter Highway

•    Edison Place between Broad Street and McCarter Highway

Lane closure information follows:

Monday, August 26th, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

•    Bus lane and northbound lane of traffic on Broad Street, from Green Street to Market Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10 to 2 a.m.

•    Westbound lane of traffic on Lafayette Street, from McCarter Highway to Broad Street