FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The George Washington Bridge is about to get a major facelift and, it could cause traffic nightmares for drivers in Bergen and Rockland Counties.
The first phase of the overhaul is the ramp off the Palisade Parkway, it would impact thousands commuting into the city.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, at the start of 2017 the Port Authority will demolish the 85-year-old ramp called the ‘pip-helix’ and then replace it.
Before the tear down, the Port Authority will build a temporary ramp with the same amount of lanes for drivers to use in June or July. Along with the rebuild, the project will take 3 years.
During construction the current and temporary ramps will shut down during some overnights and weekends.
“It’s going to add more traffic in Fort Lee, and it’s going to add time,” Neil Zigas said.
Some side streets underneath the helix will also shut down during off hours.
Fort Lee’s mayor said the city is planning ahead to prepare for heavier traffic.
It will announce detours and closures well ahead of time, and time out traffic lights in the next few weeks.
“In light of this we’re trying to expedite the implementation of that program as quickly as we can,” Mayor Mark Sokolich said.
The Port Authority wanted to emphasize that there will be minimal impact to the majority of commuters.
The helix replacement is phase 1 of 11 in a massive George Washington Bridge overhaul that spans over the next decade.
Other improvements include replacing suspender ropes, fixing sidewalks, and bike paths.
While the work may cause an inconvenience for drivers, after it’s over the bridge should last for another 85 years.