Date: Feb 06, 2013
Press Release Number: 15-2013
Work is part of $350 million comprehensive program to rehabilitate structural elements of the GWB and maintain a state of good repair
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a $77.5 million infrastructure investment to replace the 70-year-old Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) Helix, a key New Jersey approach to the George Washington Bridge. The helix serves as a critical transportation link for commuters from Northern New Jersey and Rockland County who are bound for New York City.
The PIP Helix is located in Fort Lee, New Jersey and carries 7.4 million vehicles with 10.2 million passengers annually from the southbound roadway of the Palisades Interstate Parkway to the GWB. It is composed of three bridges and two intermediate roadway sections that span the New Jersey approaches to the GWB and local streets. The Helix structures are currently past their useful lives and require frequent repairs to maintain a safe riding surface.
After reviewing several alternatives, the Port Authority decided that replacement of the Helix is the most viable and beneficial option for the region. The replacement is part of a $350 million program to rehabilitate various structural elements and approach roadways to the 82-year-old George Washington Bridge.
“The action taken by the Board today is in keeping with the Port Authority's longstanding commitment to maintain and improve its critical interstate infrastructure,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Replacing the Palisades Interstate Parkway Helix is essential to ensuring that the George Washington Bridge, the world's busiest crossing, will continue to effectively and safely serve the businesses and travelers of our region for decades to come.”
“The Port Authority has an ambitious capital plan that maintains, protects, and enhances our region’s transportation assets to meet the growing needs of our residents,” said Port Authority Vice-Chairman Scott Rechler. “In addition to improvements for our customers, projects such as the PIP Helix replacement grow the region’s economy and create hundreds of jobs.”
“The PIP Helix is more than 70 years old and must be replaced,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “Replacing the structure is a common sense investment in our transportation network that will breathe new life into the structure and maintain a state of good repair moving forward.”
“The construction of a temporary access ramp is just one step we are taking to minimize the effects of construction on the people of Fort Lee as we work to create smoother, more reliable commute across the GWB for everyone,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.
To ensure that access to the bridge is not limited, a temporary detour roadway will be constructed that allows the flow of traffic to continue unimpeded throughout the construction period.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2017. The project will create 150 direct jobs and more than $132 million in economic activity for the region.
CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.