If you’re the sort who enjoys sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on superstructures spanning deepwater rivers, boy, do we have some good news for you. The Port Authority announced a plan to replace the steel beams that support the George Washington Bridge’s upper deck. That means three of the four lanes in one direction on the upper deck will be closed for repairs every night until the end of the year. Being trapped on a bridge for more than an hour: Now that’s a high that’s hard to come by.
At first the closures will affect anyone crossing the bridge between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., but over time the outages will expand to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. on weekends. Though the intent is keep delays under 60 minutes, Port Authority official Cedrick Fulton tells NBC New York that a test closure two weeks ago created a 90-minute delay.
Though the repairs are kind of necessary, the Port Authority is clotting a thoroughfare that sees up to 50,000 drivers on weekend nights. And they’re asking us to pay for the privilege: The $82 million needed for replacing the steel struts will come from increased tolls, which will top out at $15.