Solutions for a better world

George Washington Bridge Upgrades | New York and New Jersey, US

  • Sunset view of The George Washington Bridge
  • Aerial view of the George Washington Bridge
  • George Washington Bridge New York/New Jersey (top) and Alexander Hamilton Bridge, NY (bottom center)
  • Aerial view from cables of the George Washington Bridge
  • Workers walking on bridge's cables
  • Worker walking on steel cable on the bridge
  • Aerial view of the George Washington Bridge
  • View of George Washington Bridge from steel cables
Upgrading the famed George Washington Bridge

The famed George Washington Bridge spans the Hudson River, linking the Palisades of New Jersey with the shores of Manhattan. The structure was designed by Ammann & Whitney's co-founder Othmar Ammann and architect Cass Gilbert, beginning in 1923. Opened to traffic in 1931, the 4,760-foot-long bridge currently accommodates more than 100 million vehicles annually, making it the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge.

Challenge
Bridges require regular inspections and upgrades to ensure their structural integrity and improve their existing features. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently elected to replace the George Washington Bridge’s suspender ropes and rehabilitate its main cables and cable strands.

Solution
Ammann & Whitney, the long-span bridge division of Louis Berger, is preparing the design for the improvements. The cable and strand rehabilitation involves an alternative study for non-destructive testing and dehumidification options. The project will also include the replacement of sidewalks, handrails and electrical components, including the iconic necklace lighting on the cables.

To date, Ammann & Whitney’s assignment has involved:

  • Conducting field inspections.
  • Documenting and evaluating the existing conditions of the bridge’s suspender ropes, main cables, cable strands and other components.
  • Preparing alternative concepts for the sidewalk replacement.
  • Recommending appropriate replacement or rehabilitation methods to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge.