George Washington Bridge (GW Bridge) spans over the Hudson River, connecting Manhattan in New York with Bergen County in New Jersey, in the US.
Interstate-95, US Route 1 and US Route 9 pass over the bridge. US Route 46 terminates at the middle of the bridge at the state border. The bridge is operated by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Carrying more than 300,000 vehicles a day and 100 million annually, the double-decked GW Bridge is one of the busiest motor vehicle bridges in the world. There are 14 lanes together on the upper and the lower decks. Pedestrian and cyclist lanes are accommodated on the upper deck. The speed limit on the bridge is 70km/h.
GW Bridge was opened to traffic in October 1931 and completed of service 80 years in 2011. A major rehabilitation programme was announced for the bridge in February 2012. The programme has been estimated to cost more than $460m and create 2,000 jobs.
History and original cost of the Hudson River Bridge
Design of the bridge was proposed by Swiss-born engineer Othmar Ammann in 1923. Construction began in 1927 and the bridge was completed ahead of schedule at a cost of $59m.
The bridge was originally named the Hudson River Bridge but subsequently was renamed as the George Washington Memorial Bridge, which was later shortened to the present name.
The original bridge was opened with six lanes on a single deck. The lanes were extended to eight in 1946. The lower deck and new approach roads were constructed during 1959-62.
The lower deck was built at a cost of $20m while the new approach roads – Trans-Manhattan Expressway and Alexander Hamilton Bridge from New York and Bergen-Passaic Expressway from New Jersey – cost $60m.
The concrete upper deck was replaced with a steel roadway in 1978. The steel sections were pre-made and the original deck was replaced part by part.