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George Washington Bridge Closures Continue

Port Authority officials warn of major traffic delays as construction continues on GWB

by Joseph M. Gerace

George Washington Bridge commuters should expect hour-long delays for the next six weeks as the 82-year-old span begins an $87 million rehab project.

The construction project shut down 3 lanes on the upper level of the bridge for approximately 6 hours during the weeknight. 

The work, which started Monday at 11 p.m.,  on the westbound lanes through 5 a.m. Tuesday. Work will continue on that schedule on the westbound lanes throughout the week. Then it will switch to the eastbound lanes for the following two weeks.

Construction will then alternate between the west and eastbound lanes every two weeks, according to officials.

After Sept. 2—Labor Day—the beginning of construction hours will roll back from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Weekend travelers can sleep easy—crews are scheduled to work Monday through Friday. Truckers unable to drive rigs on the span's lower level, on the other hand, will likely bear the brunt of the high-congestion headaches.

The full schedule is here:

  • Week 1 (8/5 to 8/10): 3-lane closure, Mon-Thur 11pm to 5am; Friday 12am to 8am. WESTBOUND
  • Week 2 (8/12 to 8/17): 3-lane closure, Mon-Thur 11pm to 5am; Friday 12am to 8am. EASTBOUND
  • Week 3 (8/19 to 8/24): 3-lane closure, Mon-Thur 10pm to 5am; Friday 11pm to 9am. EASTBOUND
  • Week 4 (8/26 to 8/30): 3-lane closure, Mon-Thur 10pm to 5am; Friday 11pm to 9am. WESTBOUND (No closure on 8/30 due to Labor Day weekend)
  • Week 5 – resume 9 PM weeknight and 10 PM Friday closures EASTBOUND (resume Tuesday night due to Labor Day weekend)
  • Week 6 – resume 9 PM weeknight and 10 PM Friday closures WESTBOUND

This project is forecast for completion in 2015, will extend the useful life of the structure by approximately 15-20 years, according to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials.

From the Port Authority website:

The George Washington Bridge Upper Level Structural Steel Rehabilitation contract, awarded to American Bridge Company in December 2010 for $87 million, replaces 6-foot portions of the existing steel deck above every floor beam along the upper level roadway, and rehabilitation of the remaining deck area. Additionally, the contract provides for resurfacing of the westbound upper level roadway, upgrade and rehabilitation of roadway drainage system, and rehabilitation of the finger joints.

Are you concerned that the construction project will impact your commute? Tell us in the comments below.

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