As of Tuesday, February 14, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have officially opened the recently renovated and fully accessible north walk of the George Washington Bridge. This path will significantly improve the experience for bicyclists, pedestrians, and users with mobility challenges.
The 1.5 mile path offers two new open-air viewing platforms, known architecturally as belvederes. These spaces, meant to serve as meeting or resting spots for bicyclists and pedestrians, offer sweeping views. Those on the New York side platform can take in uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, while those on the Jersey side can enjoy head-on views of the bridge’s upper level and New Jersey tower.
The project also included the removal of the 171-step set of stairs that posed challenges for bikers and those with mobility challenges to access the bridge.
Seamless connection from adjacent streets is now available through the addition of a new on-site plaza, located at West 180th Street and Cabrini Boulevard.
“We must ensure our bridges and walkways are welcoming, safe and accessible for all cyclists and pedestrians,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “The George Washington Bridge is a vital link between our states, and these improvements are critical to ensuring everyone can experience the unparalleled views.”
Other improvements include enhanced security and safety features such as security fencing, sidewalk pavement markings, bicycle-friendly rub-rails, improved lighting, and wayfinding signage.
“The opening of the newly renovated north walk marks a significant milestone for the historic Restoring the George program,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “This unprecedented investment in one of the most important bridges in the world will more efficiently connect communities on both sides of the Hudson.”
And even more renovations are in the works.
Beginning today, February 15, the bridge’s south walk will be closed in order to start work on replacing every steel suspender rope on the bridge’s south side, which is arguably the largest and most impactful aspect of the project. This process is expected to take approximately four years, during which pedestrians and bicyclists will share use of the newly opened north walk.
Once the south walk’s construction is complete, pedestrians will have dedicated use of the south walk path, while bicyclists will exclusively use the north walk.
“A day when we open a new, generous facility for cycling on one of our key river crossings is a good day,” said Bike New York Director of Advocacy Jon Orcutt. “Thank you to Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton and his entire team for these significant improvements.”
The renovation is part of the agency’s $2 billion Restoring the George program. The project was led by the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey.
More information regarding the Restoring the George program can be found here.