Date: Nov 15, 2012
Press Release Number: 196-2012
Project is part of roadway improvements program that will benefit travelers to the region
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a plan to replace the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) at the George Washington Bridge (GWB). The ITS provides information on traffic conditions, estimated travel times, and lane restrictions to motorists via electronic signs on roads leading to the GWB. An estimated 101 million vehicles crossed the world’s busiest crossing in both directions in 2011.
The Port Authority estimates the project will create 30 direct jobs and wages of $3 million. The total economic impact is estimated at 80 direct and indirect jobs, $6 million in wages and $25 million in economic activity.
Modernizing the ITS, first installed at the bridge in 1997, is a key component of a larger program of roadway construction and improvement projects being planned throughout the region in advance of the 2014 Super Bowl. Message signs are located on state highways on both sides of the bridge, so the Port Authority is working closely with the New York State and New Jersey Departments of Transportation on the project.
The ITS will help reduce congestion by informing motorists of traffic conditions in advance so they can plan accordingly. Reduced congestion helps speed motorist travel times, while also benefitting the environment by cutting emissions.
The Board’s decision authorizes two important early-action items. The first is the awarding of contracts to replace eight of the electronic ITS signs on the New York and New Jersey approaches to the George Washington Bridge at an estimated cost of $4 million dollars. The second is approval of an agreement to reimburse the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) for costs associated with its replacement of six Port Authority signs on the New Jersey Turnpike’s eastbound approach roadways to the bridge. The estimated cost is $6.3 million.
“Replacing the existing ITS at the George Washington Bridge is consistent with one of the Port Authority’s main priorities, which is to keep people and goods moving throughout our region,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “The world’s busiest bridge crossing and the motorists who use it will benefit greatly from a new, upgraded ITS as our region prepares to host the 2014 Super Bowl.”
“By providing motorists real time traffic information about the George Washington Bridge, the new ITS will allow them to plan accordingly,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “It will assist the people who live and work in the region for years to come by reducing delays and emissions from traffic backups.”
“Our decision to replace the ITS is part of the Port Authority’s ongoing effort to deliver solutions for the people of our region,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “The Super Bowl is one of the premiere sporting events in the world and it will attract visitors who will help boost our local economies. The new ITS will ensure we are ready for them.”
Work on the early-action item of replacing the eight electronic ITS signs on the New York and New Jersey approaches to the George Washington Bridge is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2012 and end toward the end of 2013. The entire ITS is scheduled to be replaced in approximately four years.
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.