Press Release Article


Date: Aug 19, 2019
Press Release Number: 130-2019

First Quarter of 592 Suspender Ropes Replaced on North Side of GWB

Suspender Rope Replacement Program Part of 11 State of Good Repair Projects in the Ongoing $1.92 Billion “Restoring the George” Program

Today the Port Authority announced the completion of the first quarter of the Suspender Rope Replacement Program on the George Washington Bridge. The replacement is one of 11 major components of the $1.92 billion “Restoring the George” program that seeks to overhaul the 88-year-old bridge over a 10-year period.

Replacement of all 592 suspender ropes and handrails and the rehabilitation of the four main cables on the bridge, is an essential part of the bridge’s complete restoration. As the world’s busiest bridge that carries approximately 300,000 vehicles per day, repairs are crucial to ensure the structural integrity of the decades-old bridge.

“The $1.92 billion investment in the world’s busiest bridge is critical to regional mobility and reflects the Port Authority’s commitment to rebuilding all of our legacy infrastructure,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Providing up-to-date, 21st century facilities for our millions of customers is a crucial component of our mission.”

“The George Washington Bridge was built 88 years ago, and we are investing nearly $2 billion so the bridge will last another century. This investment will also reduce the frequency of urgent maintenance repairs,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The suspender rope replacement program, which is a key element in the bridge’s restoration, is on-time and on-budget as it marks a significant milestone today completing the replacement of its 150th suspender rope.”

Suspension rope replacement began on the north side of the George Washington Bridge in September 2018. As part of that process, the bridge’s main cable is inspected, cleaned and individual strands repaired as required. Once new suspender ropes are in place, acoustical monitoring and dehumidification systems are installed on the main cables. The Suspender Ropes Replacement and Rehabilitation of the Main Cables Program also includes the replacement of the north and south Upper Level sidewalks, access ramp improvements to increase pedestrian and bicycle accessibility, safety fencing along all sidewalks, and replacement of the necklace lighting with a new LED lighting which will allow for the recognition of significant dates.

The “Restoring the George” program also includes the replacement of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Helix ramp and the rehabilitation of the 178th Street ramp which both opened in March 2019. Progress is ongoing on the rehabilitation of the 179th Street ramp, bus ramps and bus turnaround, following the opening of the Eastbound Bus Ramp in June 2019. Work has begun on the next phases of the program, including the rehabilitation of the Trans-Manhattan Expressway median bridges, the Center Avenue and Lemoine Avenue Bridges, and the Upper and Lower Level spans.

The comprehensive “Restoring the George” Program is just one crucial component of the Port Authority’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan for Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals projects that support trans-Hudson commuting. The plan includes funds to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones, including $3.5 billion dedicated to the planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and completion of the new Bayonne Bridge and the new Goethals Bridge.

The George Washington Bridge carried more than 51.5 million eastbound vehicles in 2018, making it the world’s busiest crossing. First opened in 1931, the ongoing investments in this engineering marvel are the most extensive ever undertaken, ensuring that the crossing remains in a state of good repair for decades to come.

The 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 the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center 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

Web Site Disclaimer    |    Privacy Statement
© 2001-CurrentYear The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
(212) 435-7000  •  4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007