BRIDGE RESTORATION: $2 billion project to restore George Washington Bridge

Officials say they are planning an intricate construction schedule to spare rush hour drivers from delays

May 10, 2016
George Washington Bridge
George Washington Bridge

Major renovations on the 85-year-old George Washington Bridge over the coming decade will keep the iconic span alive into the next century.

The 11 projects are part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's nearly $2 billion "Restore the George" program that repair and rebuild key components of the bridge and its approach roads.

The GWB is the nation's busiest crossing, moving about 300,000 vehicles daily.

Work started in early 2015 on the lower level with removing lead paint, and continued this year with repaving the eastbound lower level and its approach roads, which is scheduled to end in early 2017.

The most significant project is the $1.03 billion replacement of 592 vertical cables, known as suspender ropes. Those are the original cables, and they support the bridge deck across the river.

Work also will be done to rehabilitate the 26,474 wires in each of the two main support cables that hold up the suspender ropes. That work starts next year and continues to 2024. Drivers won't be affected because that project is off the roadway.

Drivers who access the bridge from the Palisades Interstate Parkway will experience delays when a $117 million project to replace the helix starts in June or July. The helix is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

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