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Big Delays Expected As Major Repairs Start On GWB

Overnight Construction May Cause Delays Up To An Hour
George Washington Bridge (file/credit: CBS 2)

George Washington Bridge (file/credit: CBS 2)

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FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – One of the most heavily traveled bridges in the country is getting a face-lift.

Late-night construction on the George Washington Bridge is set to begin at 11 p.m. Monday in the westbound lanes.

Port Authority workers will replace sections of the steel beams that support the roadway. The cranes needed for the project require three of the four lanes to be closed.

“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,” Chief Structural Engineer Bernard Yostpille said last week.

Construction will go until 5 a.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the span won’t reopen until 10 a.m., officials said. The Port Authority said it’s expecting delays of 45 minutes to an hour.

The $82 million project will alternate on a weekly basis between the New Jersey-bound and New York-bound lanes, starting with outbound traffic this week.

“It’s critical,” the Port Authority’s Cedrick Fulton said last week. “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.”

The repairs are being funded by phased-in toll increases implemented in 2011 that will ultimately raise cash tolls from $8 to $15.

The Port Authority says more than 49 million vehicles crossed the 82-year-old span last year from New Jersey into New York City.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)