Press Release Article


Date: Jun 10, 2002
Press Release Number: 67-2002

New Technology Will Allow Port Authority to Keep Motorists Better Informed

In an important service improvement at the world’s busiest bridge, the Port Authority is offering current traffic conditions by telephone to travelers using the George Washington Bridge.

Beginning tomorrow, June 10, motorists can call 877 PA-ROADS to receive updates on traffic, weather and road surface conditions. A recorded message will be updated frequently as conditions change. Travelers also can report an emergency on the bridge.

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, “For too many people in our region, traffic jams have become a way of life. But with this new technology, motorists can break free from this routine and make travel choices that will speed their trip to work, school or other destinations. We strongly urge motorists to use this system whenever they plan to cross the George Washington Bridge.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The region’s economic future hinges on the ability to move people and goods freely and with minimal delay. The Port Authority is a national leader in the use of technology to improve travel times.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “The Port Authority is constantly seeking ways to help travelers reach their destinations more quickly and conveniently. Previous improvements have provided electronic signs with travel time information on roads leading to the George Washington Bridge. This new system will allow them to decide their travel route before they leave their home or while they are on their way to their destination.”

The highway advisory telephone is a component of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), which was installed at the George Washington Bridge in 2000. The telephone system tells travelers whether to use the upper or lower levels of the bridge, or to use an alternate route such as the Tappan Zee Bridge, said Ken Philmus, the Port Authority’s Director of Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals.

The ITS system uses sensors, closed circuit cameras and other technology to quickly detect accidents on the bridge and speed emergency response. The system also uses 30 electronic signs to provide real-time information to motorists on approach roads to the bridge.

The Port Authority plans to install similar Intelligent Transportation Systems at its other tunnels and bridges in the future. Approximately 300,000 people use the George Washington Bridge on a typical weekday.

For further information on the Port Authority’s tunnels, bridges and terminals, customers can call 800 221-9903 or visit the agency’s Web site at

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