Date: Jun 28, 2001
Press Release Number: 95-2001
The world\'s largest free-flying American flag will be unfurled from beneath the upper arch of the bridge\'s New Jersey tower between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on July 4, highlighting the Port Authority’s Fourth of July Celebration.
On the night of July 4, Old Glory will be framed in golden light and steel thanks to recently installed light fixtures within the open steel latticework of the bridge’s two towers. The 60-foot-by-90-foot, 450-pound flag will be illuminated by 375 lights in the newly-illuminated towers and 148 necklace lights that adorn the bridge’s barrel cables.
The flags used at the George Washington Bridge were manufactured by Annin & Company of Roseland, N.J., and Abacrome Inc., of New York City. The first flag was flown in 1946. The flag is made of 75 percent nylon and 25 percent wool. This composition makes the flag durable, minimizes water retention and produces the desired formation when displayed. The flag is stored in a special housing in the bridge’s New Jersey tower and is slowly lowered on a 1,200 pound split boom.
The following are tips for travelers planning to use Port Authority’s airports, bridges, tunnels and rail transportation system during the July fourth holiday.
About 1.4 million air travelers are expected to use the region\'s three major airports between Wednesday, July 4, and Sunday, July 8, leading to busy roadways and limited parking at all three airports. Major capital construction projects at both John F. Kennedy International and Newark International have temporarily reduced the number of parking spaces, and parking is generally limited at LaGuardia Airport because of its small size. JFK customers who must park at the airport are encouraged to use long-term parking areas. To increase available parking at Newark International, parking lot C has been partially opened. However, parking at the airport is still not recommended.
Ernesto Butcher, the Port Authority\'s Chief Operating Officer, said travelers planning to use any of the three airports this weekend should consider being dropped off at the airline terminal or using public transportation.
“Our airports, bridges and tunnels are always busy during holidays and this July 4th will be no exception,” Mr. Butcher said. “The single most important piece of advice for travelers is to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get where you are going. Those who want to park at any of the three airports this weekend should call beforehand to find out about parking conditions. This information is available on our toll-free number for ground transportation options – 800 AIR-RIDE.”
Tunnels and Bridges
More than 275,000 vehicles are expected to use Port Authority bridges and tunnels on Independence Day. Major construction at all six of the Port Authority\'s interstate crossings will be suspended. Port Authority tunnels and bridges construction updates are available year-round on the Port Authority\'s Web site - www.panynj.gov - or by calling 800 221-9903. People with hearing or speech impairments can call 800 733-8899 weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
On Tuesday, July 3, PATH will operate additional service as necessary to accommodate passengers getting an early start on their holiday celebration. On July 4, PATH will operate on a weekend schedule from midnight until about 6 p.m. At that time, additional service will be added as needed to accommodate riders attending the New York City fireworks celebration. The Newark/World Trade Center line trains will run every 10 minutes until midnight. Journal Square/33rd Street and the Hoboken/33rd Street lines will run trains in 12 minutes intervals until 11 p.m. World Trade Center Hoboken line will run trains every 10 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. and ending at midnight. For more information on PATH service, travelers can call 800 234-PATH.
On July Fourth, the Hoboken Ferry will operate on a Sunday schedule with 30-minute departures between 10 a.m. and 9:50 p.m. For more information on Hoboken Ferry service, call 800 53-FERRY.