Project is Part of Larger Program to Upgrade the GWB
A major project to fully repave the upper-level lanes of the George Washington Bridge will begin this weekend. The $10.3 million project will begin on Friday night as the full repaving of the eastbound upper-level lanes begins. The second part of the project, the westbound repaving, will begin in 2009.
The eastbound repaving will provide a full-depth replacement of 295,000 square feet of pavement, including parts of the approach roadway and the main span, to ensure a safe driving surface for the public.
The project has become a critical need as the post-9/11 security ban prohibiting truck traffic on the lower level has greatly increased truck volume on the upper level, rapidly accelerating deterioration on the existing upper-level pavement, which was installed in 1997.
Increased truck usage has resulted in more frequent occurrences of potholes, cracking, and rutting, requiring increased maintenance and emergency repairs that adversely affect traffic flow. A total of $1.2 million was spent last year alone on emergency repairs to the upper level. The full rehabilitation must be performed now to avoid further deterioration and increased traffic delays caused by emergency repairs.
The project is a part of the $863 million the agency expects to invest in the George Washington Bridge over the next ten years to ensure the facility is safe and efficient. Tully Construction Co., Inc., of Flushing, N.Y., is the primary contractor on the project.
To accommodate the project, eastbound upper-level lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. on Fridays to 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and from 10 p.m. on Saturdays to 10 a.m. on Sundays, starting this Friday and continuing through the end of November. The paving work will be halted for the winter and resume in early 2008 under the same schedule. The project is expected to be complete in April.
During the overnight hours, automobiles will be diverted to the bridge’s lower level and lanes will be open to accept either cash or E-ZPass. Trucks are required to use the bridge’s upper level and one lane will be provided for truck traffic, though truck drivers are urged to seek alternate routes.
The work is weather sensitive and may be cancelled in the event of heavy rain.
The Port Authority is notifying bridge users of the upcoming closure via its website, “Tunnel Radio” alerts in the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and via roadway and toll plaza signage. For additional information, customers can call the Port Authority at 800 221-9903 or visit www.panynj.info.
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.