Date: Sep 15, 2003
Press Release Number: 123-2003
The Port Authority and the Borough of Fort Lee have agreed to work together to initiate $30 million worth of improvements to relieve traffic congestion on roadways around the George Washington Bridge.
The project will add lanes to existing roadways, install new traffic signals and build new roadways link to better connect local streets. The Port Authority will provide $15 million over five years to support the project, while the Borough of Fort Lee and Bergen County will provide the rest of the funds.
Governor James E. McGreevey, who has made improving the state’s roadways a top priority of his administration, said, “There are few things more precious than the time we have to spend with our families. Congestion and traffic impose on that time, affecting our quality of life and our economy.
“Drivers in New Jersey lose 261 million hours a year to congestion - an average of 45 hours per driver, and our economy misses out on $7 billion each year as a result of traffic.
This $30 million project will not only reduce traffic near the George Washington Bridge, but will also give commuters more time at home with their families.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Port Authority and Fort Lee have been partners since the original construction of the George Washington Bridge in 1931, and we remain committed to keeping that partnership strong. This project signifies an important step forward in our efforts to ensure that the George Washington Bridge better serves the millions of motorists who use the world’s busiest bridge every year. But it also is going to help protect and improve the quality of life for the residents of Fort Lee.”
Fort Lee Mayor Jack Alter said, “Today’s agreement is the culmination of many years of cooperative effort between the Port Authority and the Borough. This agreement will result in a series of major improvements that will benefit Fort Lee residents, as well as the commuting public.”
The agreement provides for roadway improvement projects to:
• Widen Main Street from Hudson Terrace to Martha Washington Way.
• Realign the Main Street and Hudson Terrace Intersection.
• Construct a new street extending Guntzler Street from the Municipal Parking Lot to Hudson Terrace, creating a new east-west traffic route in Fort Lee.
• Realign Central Road at Main Street.
• Improve the intersection at Bruce Reynolds Boulevard (Bridge Plaza South) and Hudson Terrace.
A new parking garage will also be built on the site of the existing Fort Lee Municipal Lot to provide additional parking capacity.
Commuter traffic at the George Washington Bridge has increased in recent years, with nearly 55 million vehicles using the bridge annually to travel between New Jersey and New York. Over the past six years, the Port Authority has invested more than $280 million in George Washington Bridge infrastructure improvements. These capital improvements have been part of the agency’s efforts to provide Fort Lee residents with improved mobility and accessibility throughout the New York Metropolitan area. The Borough and the Port Authority are committed to working together to address traffic flow and developmental opportunities.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.