Press Release Article


Date: Feb 21, 2014
Press Release Number: 45-2014

Improving the bridge‘s smart sign systems will benefit travelers to the region

The Port Authority recently completed two projects to install 15 variable message signs (VMS) on the approach roads to the George Washington Bridge (GWB) from New York and New Jersey. Installed earlier this year, the VMS provide motorists with up-to-the minute information on travel times, traffic conditions, alternate routes, and trip planning options.

Modernizing the smart sign system was the final component of a roadway construction and improvement plan approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in 2012. With message signs located on state highways on both sides of the bridge, the Port Authority worked closely with the New York State and New Jersey Departments of Transportation on the project to ensure its timely completion.

“Variable message signs are the most efficient means for notifying motorists of changes in traffic patterns and road conditions on the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest crossing,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “By working closely with other agencies to complete the VMS installation, the Port Authority has advanced its commitment to improving the transportation infrastructure that fuels our region’s economy.”

“Relaying real-time traffic information on the George Washington Bridge will facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout our region,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deborah Gramiccioni. “In addition to reducing accidents and informing travelers, the VMS installation will improve Port Authority operations at the bridge in a smart, cost-effective, and efficient manner.”

The first project involved the Port Authority working with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) to replace obsolete Port Authority VMS on Turnpike property. Five VMS were installed, by the NJTA, north of Interchange 17, leading to the GWB, and provide information to New York-bound motorists. The second project involved the Port Authority installing 10 VMS. Six of these VMS were installed in New Jersey, and provide information for eastbound motorist travelling towards the GWB. In addition, four VMS were installed in New York; two by the Port Authority and two by the New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to provide information for New Jersey-bound motorist.

The travel times and traffic condition information on the VMS will cut vehicle hours traveled and idling time, contributing to reduced overall fuel consumption and associated air pollution in the corridor. The Port Authority’s initiative is projected to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions equivalent to reducing oil consumption by nearly 1,700 barrels per year. Additionally, the VMS installation will reduce congestion by balancing traffic efficiently between the upper and lower level roadways.

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 the Western Hemisphere. 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 raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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