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GWB To Undergo $1 Billion In Repairs, Upgrades

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - The George Washington Bridge will be getting a billion-dollar facelift over the next decade.

Port Authority officials have approved $1.03 billion in repairs and improvements for the George Washington Bridge.

The work will include replacing the 82-year-old bridge's 592 suspender ropes and rehabilitating all of the span's main cables. New technology will warn engineers of potential structural problems.

The necklace lighting will be replaced with a programmable LED lighting system and access to the sidewalks will be changed to make it easier for people with disabilities and cyclists.

"The George Washington Bridge is a national asset and the world's busiest bridge, and the Port Authority is committed to making needed investments that ensure this vital transportation artery for the region thrives for another 100 years," said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye in a statement. "As part of the program, the Port Authority not only will invest in needed state-of-good-repair work, but also will make major access improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, with an eye toward sustainability and the future."

Construction on the suspended ropes is set to begin in 2017 and the overall program is expected to be finished by 2024.

According to the Port Authority, the project is expected to result in 4,900 jobs and $1.7 billion in economic activity for the region.

Off-peak traffic lane closings will be required during construction.

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