Press Release Article


Date: Mar 27, 2019
Press Release Number: 44-2019

New helix linking the Palisades Interstate Parkway to the George Washington Bridge to open at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30

The $67 million project is part of an initiative to undertake 11 major projects to rehabilitate the 88-year-old bridge

The Port Authority today announced that traffic will shift from a temporary roadway to the new $67 million Palisades Interstate Parkway helix at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30 – one of 11 major components of the $1.9 billion “Restoring the George” program that seeks to completely overhaul the 88-year-old George Washington Bridge over a 10-year period.

The original helix – which was built more than 70 years ago – is a critical approach to the bridge that connects the southbound Palisades Interstate Parkway to the bridge’s upper level roadway. It serves as a primary link for travelers from northern New Jersey and Rockland County bound for New York City. The new helix will continue to serve this function and feeds into its own dedicated eastbound travel lane on the main span of the George Washington Bridge, enhancing safety.

Once the traffic shift occurs, construction will continue over the next several months to demolish the temporary ramp and to complete the final tie-in of the new ramp with the existing main span of the bridge.

“The $1.9 billion investment in the world’s busiest bridge is critical to regional mobility and reflects the Port Authority’s commitment to rebuilding all of our legacy infrastructure,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We look forward to completion of the other major bridge infrastructure projects that are either under way or will begin soon so that this extraordinary facility can continue to serve the traveling public for another century.”

“This iconic bridge has played a vital role for nearly a century in moving people and goods throughout the region,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The completion of the new Palisades Interstate Parkway helix represents another critical investment in the George Washington Bridge to ensure the bridge remains a safe and reliable facility for years to come for the millions of people who use it.”

The “Restoring the George” program is just one component of the $10 billion contained in the Port Authority’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan for tunnels, bridges and terminals projects that support trans-Hudson commuting. The plan includes funds to build new facilities and to upgrade existing ones. It dedicates $3.5 billion to begin planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and funds to complete construction of the new Bayonne Bridge and the new Goethals Bridge.

To prepare for the new Palisades Interstate Parkway helix opening, the existing temporary helix will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, March 29, and the new structure will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 30.

The George Washington Bridge carried more than 51.5 million eastbound vehicles in 2018, making it the world’s busiest crossing. First opened in 1931, the ongoing investments in the crossing are the most extensive ever undertaken to ensure the crossing remains in a state of good repair for decades to come.

In addition to the helix, the $1.9 billion in investments includes the replacement of the bridge’s 592 steel suspender ropes; the rehabilitation of the Center and Lemoine Avenue bridges that cross over the approach to the bridge; rehabilitation of the 178th and 179th Street ramps; main span upper level steel rehabilitation; and lower level eastbound main span and approaches pavement rehabilitation.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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