The George Washington Bridge Bus Station closed Monday at 179th Street on Fort Washington Avenue in Manhattan, for major renovations.
Bus service will continue without interruptions on the upper level of the station building, and a temporary trailer set up next to the station at Fort Washington Avenue and 179th Street is serving as a waiting room. Construction began early this year after much delay, and the station closure will last about a year.
The 175th Street entrance to the bus station is currently closed, but there is stair access on 177th and 178th Streets. The subway is still accessible through the stairs on 177th Street and Fort Washington Avenue. Pickup for disabled passengers will remain on Fort Washington Avenue.
According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the $183 million project is the bus station’s most significant since its opening in 1963.
“This is a major renovation that promises to bring with it much needed economic stimulus to Northern Manhattan. As we embark in this yearlong reconstruction, I will be working diligently to ensure that the work does not hinder the quality of life of area residents,” said council member Ydanis Rodriguez, who has previously reached out to PANYNJ regarding construction in the area, as his district encompasses the bus station. Rodriguez and Senator Adriano Espaillat had requested PANYNJ conduct a traffic study, which is in progress, and are pushing for details on public space and what businesses will be hired.
Espillat said the renovation was an important first step for improving the district. “The GWB’s Bus Terminal has been virtually abandoned for years, and what could be a terrific neighborhood asset has become an eyesore and a magnet for crime. We will continue to stay vigilant to ensure this project stays on track,” he stated.
The renovation project will create an estimated 300-plus construction jobs with $19 million in wages, and generate $31.7 million in regional economic activity.
New bus loading areas, waiting areas, restrooms, and 120,000 square feet of retail space are being built, along with elevators connecting the subway to the street-level bus station. The interior will be accessible and air-conditioned.
The new station will have improved signage and lighting, and better arrival/departure information through electronic signage throughout the station.
Parts of the triangular-paneled exterior, built by Dr. Pier Luigi Nervi, engineer and architect of the 1960 Olympic Stadium in Rome, will be preserved and rehabilitated.
The project is a public-private-partnership and was approved by the PANYNJ Board of Commissioners in 2011. SJM Partners and Slayton Ventures are funding about $100 million of the project and PANYNJ is investing $83 million.