FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is starting a $1 billion project next year to give the George Washington Bridge a much-needed overhaul.
The eight-year project will replace each of the span’s 592 original suspender ropes and rehabilitate the 85-year-old bridge’s four main cables.
The bridge is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s largest net revenue producer.
Bridge manager Robert Durando said the agency’s priority during construction will be to “protect the rush hour and local traffic”.
The rehabilitation work will probably require the closure of one lane after the morning rush hour and, if a second lane has to close, that will likely happen between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m, Durando said.
The suspender replacement is the centerpiece of the agency’s 10-year plan to “Restore the George,” and the project includes replacing access ramps and approaches to the bridge, which could require additional road closures.
The agency developed a design and criteria for the suspender replacement but still doesn’t know how it will be performed. That will be planned by the contractor, whose winning bid will be announced next year.
The agency also plans to build an 11-foot-tall fence to keep people from jumping off the bridge and replace the span’s necklace lighting with programmable LED lights.