Cool. It's amazing how quickly a dense forest grows here when left untended.
George Washington Bridge in February 2005. It's the same view as from Berenice Abbott's photograph from 1937 and Douglas Levere's photo from 1998 - that are published in New York Changing: Revisiting Berenice Abbott's New York.
Cool. It's amazing how quickly a dense forest grows here when left untended.
all for the better!
i coudln't stress enough about the necessity of green areas with plants, trees and stuff
NY Daily News
October 25, 2006
Spanning the ages: 75 years!
George Washington Bridge marks decades as vital city link
By Pete Donohue
Happy Birthday, George!
The George Washington Bridge turns 75 today, a major milestone for the majestic suspension span that towers over the Hudson, linking upper Manhattan and Fort Lee, N.J.
The Port Authority opened the bridge on Oct. 25, 1931 - a year that also saw the completion of the Empire State Building. "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the national anthem that year, too, and Chicago gangster Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The GWB quickly became part of pop culture. It was featured in the 1941 film "Ball of Fire," starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. And the next year the bridge appeared in the children's book "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge," in which a nearby lighthouse on the river fears it will be rendered obsolete by its new, gigantic neighbor.
The Daily News last week was granted a rare tour of one of the towers, which have been subject to increased security since 9/11. It was one of those fall afternoons where the cityscape was shrouded in gray.
Hundreds of feet below the highest tier, traffic rushed over the span, but the sound was muted by the distance, bursts of rain and the falling of a cold rain.
A solitary sea gull flew over the Hudson River to the top of the Palisades below. The Circle Line appeared to be moving in slow motion down the river, where freight tankers stood seemingly frozen in time.
Originally a six-lane crossing, the George has grown. It's the only 14-lane suspension bridge in the world. Last year more than 107 million cars and trucks crossed the span.
The PA has invested more than $1 billion in upgrades, repairs and maintenance of the GWB, including a recent paint job that required nearly 50,000 gallons of paint.
"The George Washington Bridge is celebrating a 75th birthday and it is looking better than ever," PA Executive Director Kenneth Ringler said, adding that "the health of this great bridge is critical to the region's transportation and economic needs."
© 2006 Daily News, L.P.
This bridge's columns have just an incredible glow at night when turned on. However, they dont do it often.
Last edited by TREPYE; October 26th, 2006 at 01:29 AM.
Nice pic! what a wonderful sight.
Agency Cancels Insurer’s Ads for George Washington Bridge
By KEN BELSON
Published: January 9, 2007
Geico’s gecko won’t be waving to drivers at the George Washington Bridge after all.
In a swift reversal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday that it would halt plans to place billboards and other advertisements from Geico, the big auto insurer, at the bridge’s toll plaza, tollbooths and approach roads.
The turnaround comes less than a week after the Port Authority said it had signed a two-year deal with Geico valued at $3.2 million. The advertisements would have been the first at a bridge operated by the Port Authority, which has been seeking new sources of revenue to offset its rising costs.
But reaction to the ads, some of which would have featured Geico’s signature mascot, a green gecko, came quickly. Preservationists and some local officials criticized the deal, complaining that the displays would have destroyed the aesthetics of the landmark bridge. The mayor of Fort Lee, where the toll plaza is situated, said that the Port Authority might have run afoul of local laws governing the placement of signs.
But other politicians, including the State Senate president, Richard J. Codey, had more practical concerns: They said the Port Authority could have held out for more money.
“You have an incredible number of people going over the bridge,” Mr. Codey said, referring to the 57 million eastbound drivers who cross the span each year. The price, he said, “seemed to be out of whack.”
Mr. Codey said the Port Authority did not tell him about the sponsorship program, which was agreed upon in 2005 while he was governor. He said the details of the bidding process on the Geico contract should have been disclosed earlier.
A spokesman for Gov. Jon S. Corzine said his office planned to review the Port Authority’s sponsorship program because it was approved under the previous administration. And Stephen Sigmund, a Port Authority spokesman, said the authority’s top officials, including the new executive director, Anthony E. Shorris, and the chairman, Anthony Coscia, had discussed over the weekend whether to pull out of the arrangement and made their decision yesterday.
Geico said it would not contest the authority’s decision to pull out of the contract, which was signed in December.
“We’re sorry that they got the push back they got, but we will withdraw,” said Bill Roberts, executive vice president of Geico. “We were concerned that we would be perceived badly. We want to be a good corporate citizen, but any time you do something new, it takes careful consideration.”
Neil M. Cohen, the deputy speaker of the General Assembly, complained that as a regulated insurer, Geico should not have been given “prime advertising assistance by a bistate government agency.”
The advertising plan “was a slippery slope that would have prompted lawsuits, caused embarrassment and driven up costs for the Port Authority in the long run,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement.
One group that is sure to be disappointed is the advertising firms that were expecting to receive $800,000 for their work putting the deal together.
In backing out of the arrangement, the Port Authority said the revenue from the advertisements was not worth the hostility the plan had received.
“We misjudged the negative reaction to this,” Mr. Sigmund said. That reaction, he added, “was becoming a distraction to the agency, which faces big and serious issues over the next decade.”
Despite the criticism, he insisted that the deal was “competitively priced.”
He said that the agency, which currently receives less than $30 million a year in these kinds of arrangements, would continue to look for new advertising and sponsorship as part of its goal of raising $100 million in such revenues.
Still, as New Jersey looks to the sale or lease of some of the state’s assets to ease its financial burden, the loud and swift response to the contract with Geico was emblematic not just of the cumbersome leadership at the Port Authority, an agency with strong political allegiances to the heads of two states, but also of the broader difficulty quasi-public agencies face when trying to privatize the facilities they operate.
Indeed, the storm over the Geico ads may be just a taste of the emerging debate over Governor Corzine’s exploration of whether to sell or lease state assets like the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
“If something like this of a small nature could generate such controversy, the highway privatization is sure to as well,” said Martin E. Robins, the director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.
Mr. Robins added that the Port Authority was particularly vulnerable to criticism because the governors of New York and New Jersey hold immense sway at the agency.
“The state governments have a huge amount of influence, and they are not afraid to exercise it,” he said. “The Port Authority is a handy punching bag.”
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
The GWB is a critical link in the nation's transportation infrastructure. Loss of this span would devastate the economy. We need to get working on a parallel and identical span. Use the second deck of GWB II to handle transit in accordance with GWB I's original design. The scale of this project would be enormous, but then again, it's nothing NY and the country can't handle. This, with reconstruction/expansion/tunneling of the Cross Bronx Expressway, would make Boston's Big Dig look like a flea circus.
Bring it on.
Where would the cars go Bob?
One thing I have noticed, going into NY, is that the delays are rarely because of the tolls on the NJ side, but rather something going wrong on the CBE...
Building a second bridge in, just to be safe, would do nothing but make traffic even more hellacious.
They need another cross point somewhere between there and the HT, but the Pallisades make that a difficult proposition. I realize it is important to have redundant systems when it comes to averting problems, but building another bridge out of fear of terrorist action is not a smart thing to do.
GWB I is already the busiest bridge in the world. GWB II can handle truck and rail traffic exclusively, and allow for complete separation of the truck traffic underground across the Bronx. To go one step further, diesel particulates could be filtered out, such that the net result of the GWB II approach from Manhattan would be cleaner air for those who live in the Bronx. This, too, would eliminate the 10-mile long tie-ups across the Bronx, allowing through traffic to actually go through NYC enroute to other destinations. GWB II does not necessarily mean more cars in Manhattan. It means more vehicles able to pass through Manhattan, expeditiously. And, it means (ultimately) the people of the Bronx getting their borough back after too many decades. Widen it. Cover it. Clean the air.
Bob, re-read my last statement.GWB II does not necessarily mean more cars in Manhattan. It means more vehicles able to pass through Manhattan,
Unless you build more roads (CBE) it does not matter if they go in or not, you will still have a bottleneck on the NY side of the bridges.
Since this is a HEAVILY developed area, simply widening the roads is not an option. If teh roads cannot handle what the GWB and the surrounding neighborhood imposes on it now, adding another will just make for another nice trans-Hudson mobile parking facility...
Recently, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been working to replace the famed "necklace"
of lights on the George Washington Bridge.
Intrepid News photographer David Handschuh secured his equipment, donned a safety harness and
climbed high into the sky to catch the action.
One of the old bulbs glows at left. The mercury-vapor units, originally installed in 1964 in advance of
the World's Fair, burn out after around a year, while the new light emitting diode fixtures will have a life
expectancy of between 12-15 years. The new lights are expected to produce annual energy and
maintenance savings of $49,000, and they will also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately
First and most importantly, electrical supervisor Steve Olmo makes sure that his harness is securely
hooked to the bridge's cables, because it's a long way down to the water...
...604 feet down, to be exact!
Electrician John O'Leary shows no fear as he balances atop one of the four main cables supporting the
77-year-old suspension bridge, despite the roaring traffic and deep water hundreds of feet below.
The bridge sways gently in the wind and a thunderstorm begins to roll in, but his fellow electrician, the
Port Authority's Keith Caldarulo, is the picture of concentration as he retrofits an old fixture with a shiny
Caldarulo is joined by Olmo and the two make sure that the new lamp and wiring are working
perfectly. All 156 lights along the 3,500-foot-long span will have to be replaced, but that's one
Most of us wouldn't frolic atop a bridge, secured only by a rope, for any inducements, but to this daring
team of high-wire walkers - P.A. plant manager Ken Sagrestano, electrical supervisors Tom Burke and
Steve Olmo and electricians John O'Leary and Keith Caldarulo (l. to r.), it was just another typical day
at the office.
The next evening, cars speeding past on the West Side Highway are treated to a beautiful view as the
George Washington Bridge's new finery sets off its steel latticework towers and lights up the night.
Copyright 2008 New York Daily News
Nice! I'm sure those are energy efficent lights. They did the samething to the Brooklyn Bridge I believe last year. It was only a matter of time before the G-dub will have the same treat.