George Washington Bridge Getting An Overhaul; Project Will Take 8 Years

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The magnificent span that connects Fort Lee to Washington Heights, a mesh of wire, steel and concrete, is going to get a much-needed overhaul.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

The George Washington Bridge is 80 years old, and the busiest vehicular bridge in the world. The Port Authority is planning on replacing all 592 vertical suspender ropes that connect the roadway to the massive suspension cables above. Those four main suspension cables will also be cleaned as part of the project.

The Port Authority has authorized $15.5 million to commence the extensive project, which is expected to cost $1 billion and take eight years before it’s done.

An airplane flies over the George Washington Bridge - Nov 13, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

An airplane flies over the George Washington Bridge - Nov 13, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

Each one of the vertical suspender ropes is made up of 283 wires and can weigh up to 10,000 pounds. Only three of the suspender ropes can be replaced at any one time – any more, and the bridge may become destabilized.

The overhaul is expected to create up to 3,600 jobs, and will be paid for by tolls and fares the Port Authority gathers, the agency said.

  • goblin

    Build a tunnel. Maintenance problem solved.

  • Andy

    Let me get this straight. Only 3 suspender ropes can be replaced at any given time and it will take up to 3600 workers to do this?


    And this won’t cause any traffic. It won’t help the traffic problem either

  • Mark Ward

    It would take less time and just as much money to just build a new bridge

    • blahblah

      The initial cost of the bridge in the early 1930s was around $60 million.

      In today’s money that’s almost $4 billion. And that’s not including the bus station and the lower level (Martha) which were both added later.

      The GWB is one of the most impressive U.S. bridges, if not THE most impressive. When it was built it was the longest spanning suspension bridge in the world. It is a marvel of engineering and the thought of replacing it is not only ridiculous, it would be a great loss.

    • michaelfury

      Maybe these guys know somebody who can do the demo job:

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