NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After 80 years spanning the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge is about to get a major upgrade.

The Port Authority has just announced a rehab project that will pour nearly half a billion dollars into the aging suspension bridge.

The project, which is set to begin in 2013, will improve conditions on the 178th and 179th Street car and bus ramps and upgrade the bridge’s lower level, including steel repair, removing lead based paint and repainting. The Port Authority is also using an additional $20 million to replace the GWB’s steel suspender ropes.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot With Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye

“I guess that’s why we pay the extra tolls,” said one driver. “So they can put people to work and we improve our life.”

All of this comes as the Port Authority is facing sharp backlash in the wake of a scathing audit that called the agency “challenged and dysfunctional.”

Some lawmakers have even called for a rollback of the toll hikes. The Port Authority says that won’t happen and that the additional toll revenue is needed for projects just like this.

For more information, click here.

WATCH: CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reports

Comments (6)
  1. Amused but not misled says:

    This list is a bunch opf crap. None of it will make one lick of difference to people commuting in and out of City..

    Theya re fixing local street ramps in Washington Heights? What are they doing filling the pot holes again? And scraping off pealing paint.

    This is more of the kind of work you can’t see when done. Geez!

  2. Grillage says:

    Most people ,especially people in California that BECAUSE of the great GWB if it were not for this marvel of civil engineering the Golden Gate and the Oakland-Bay Bridge would not have been possible. I have been studying the engineering of the GWB and all other New York Bridges for over 18 years. They are truly amazing!

  3. adam j. mack says:

    ”The port authority will save time and money in the agency.”

  4. adam j. mack says:

    ”The Project will start in 2013.”

  5. adam j. mack says:

    ”It needs a upgrade and repair to george washington bridge.”

  6. GIANTS FAN says:

    Our infrastructure is crumbling. Instead of raising tolls, why don’t you spend tax dollars more efficiently. There isn’t a revenue problem in this state there is a spending problem.

    I surely hope that the needed repairs get accomplished without raising tolls. This country sure is heading down the drain. Be prepared.

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