Press Release Article


Date: Dec 12, 2011
Press Release Number: 157-2011

$1 Billion Project Will Ultimately Generate 3,600 Jobs And $1.1 Billion in Regional Economic Activity

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners has approved the investment of $15.5 million in planning funds to move ahead with a major state-of-good-repair project to replace the steel suspender ropes on the George Washington Bridge for the first time in the bridge’s 80-year history.

The Board’s action will provide the needed engineering and consulting services to prepare the suspender rope project for construction, scheduled to begin in 2013 and take eight to nine years to complete. The project, which is anticipated to cost between $1 billion and $1.2 billion, will ultimately generate 3,600 jobs and $1.1 billion in regional economic activity.

The project entails the replacement of the bridge’s 592 suspender ropes, which provide the primary support for the world’s busiest bridge, the rehabilitation of the four main cables and 488 strands in the anchorages and the relocation of the two sidewalks along their entire lengths (necessary to facilitate the suspender rope replacement). The signature necklace lighting attached to the main cables also will be replaced as part of the project.

While the bridge was well designed and engineered and remains structurally sound, the suspender rope replacement must be addressed in order to maintain its continued structural integrity.

Port Authority Chairman David Samson said, “The Board is fulfilling its mission to protect and improve our region’s key infrastructure. By doing that we improve our transportation system, create thousands of jobs and grow our region’s economy.”

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, “One of our primary missions is to be good stewards of the world-class transportation facilities that we operate. Our goal is to make sure this iconic bridge will be able to serve the region’s travelers and truckers for the next 80 years.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “The crossing is critical to mobility and commerce in the region and beyond and this project is an investment in modernizing the bridge to continue to serve its important role in our transportation network.”

The George Washington Bridge was opened on October 25, 1931. To handle the region’s rapid growth, a second level was built below the bridge’s main deck in 1962. Today, it serves more than 300,000 vehicles a day. In 2010, the bridge handled 102 million vehicles on its two levels, three toll plazas and 28 toll lanes.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Justine Karp, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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