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George Washington Bridge bike access to be improved during restoration

A George Washington Bridge restoration project will include

A George Washington Bridge restoration project will include improvements for bicyclists, the Port Authority said on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

​The Port Authority said it will take an extra step to improve bicycle access on the George Washington Bridge during the $1.8 billion restoration of the span.

The authority announced and approved a new proposal on Thursday to extend the narrow sidewalk as it winds around the bridge’s two towers. The “wedges,” as they’re called, will allow for cyclists to navigate the towers comfortably, without dismounting from their bikes, according to the Port Authority.

The agency added the plans to the project after receiving feedback from the cycling community. The George Washington Bridge rehabilitation already includes designs to improve cycling and pedestrian access to the bridge. Narrow staircases leading to the bridge will be replaced with ADA-compliant ramps. And the existing access ramps will be widened and redesigned with gentler curves.

“We’re very happy,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “We have been dogged in our efforts to make sure that these long-overdue, common-sense improvements to the bridge get made -- this helps accommodate the increasing bicycle and pedestrian flows.”

When the project is completed in 2024, both sidewalks on the north and south side of the bridge will operate simultaneously to expand capacity and separate cyclists on one side and pedestrians on the other.

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