Paint Job Completed in Time for National Landmark’s 75th Anniversary For photos of the painting project, click here.
After removing 10 layers of old paint and applying 49,300 fresh gallons, the magnificent steel towers of the George Washington Bridge are all spruced up and ready for the bridge’s 75th birthday next month.
The completion of this project, which began in the spring of 2001, marks the end of one of the largest and most dramatic bridge painting jobs in the world.
The $62 million project involved covering both steel towers – from their peak 604 feet above the Hudson River to their concrete supports 200 feet below the bridge deck – with 2.2 million square feet of a three-coat zinc, epoxy, urethane gray paint. Several layers of old paint and rust were stripped from the steel before the application of the new coat. The fresh layer of paint serves an important preventative maintenance function by protecting the integrity of the steel for many years to come.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This project is an important element of our extensive capital program, which reinvests the money generated by the Port Authority’s customers to upgrade our bridges and tunnels, rebuild PATH and provide more capacity at the region’s airports and maritime facilities to handle future growth. A vibrant and sound George Washington Bridge illustrates the Port Authority’s commitment to our facilities and the 450 million passengers who use them each year.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “After nearly 75 years the George Washington Bridge continues to impress those who use it or simply gaze at its majestic towers and suspension from afar. This fresh coat of paint is a critical and sound investment that will protect the steel while preserving the beauty of this landmark for many years to come.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “With more than 300,000 vehicles crossing it each day, the George Washington Bridge is one of the world’s most recognizable and utilized transportation structures. Perhaps most importantly, work on the bridge symbolizes the transportation improvements that the Port Authority will continue to plan and deliver.”
To mark the occasion of the bridge’s diamond anniversary, the agency is planning historical and cultural events, as well as the long-awaited relighting of the bridge’s towers, and a birthday celebration for the bridge on October 25, 2006, the 75th anniversary of its opening date.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-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.