Officials Say Hour-Long Delays Possible Between N.J. & N.Y.

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — One of the most heavily-traveled bridges in the country is getting a face-lift, which might leave motorists little to smile about.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it will need to close three lanes at a time in the same direction on the upper deck of the George Washington Bridge starting Monday night. Only one lane will be open in that direction.

The closures will alternate between the eastbound and westbound sides through year’s end.

The closures will occur only overnight, but the Port Authority said it’s expecting delays of 45 minutes to an hour.

Truckers would be most affected since they are not allowed on the lower deck.

“It’s critical,” the Port Authority’s Cedrick Fulton said. “We’ll be down to one lane on the upper level, that lane will be used by trucks. Car drivers can get to the lower level, it will be fully staffed with toll collectors. I would strongly advise that they move down to the lower level.”

Crews will be replacing 362 deck panels during the massive rehabilitation project.

“Each lane, that section is taken out, a new section is dropped in that very same night and the wearing surface is already mounted so it’s ready to drive on as soon as it’s bolted in,” said Chief Structural Engineer Bernard Yostpille.

The Port Authority said more than 49 million vehicles crossed the span last year from New Jersey into New York City.

The bridge’s upper-deck roadway dates back to 1931. The lower deck opened in 1962.

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