WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — After years of stops and starts, the $183 million renovation of the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal is finally underway.
The station closed Monday as construction crews began the massive overhaul of the building's interior, which is expected to take at least a year to complete, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Buses will continue to run from the station during the construction and the Port Authority has installed a temporary trailer next to the terminal to provide passenger services such as ticketing and a climate-controlled waiting area during construction, authorities said.
Crews will update the 51-year-old building by adding ADA-accessible elevators and escalators, installing central air conditioning and creating 120,00 square feet of modern retail space. National and local retailers including Marshalls, Blink Fitness and Fine Fare Supermarket have already signed leases for the space, officials said.
According to the Port Authority, the project is expected to create more than 300 jobs and generate more than $30 million in regional economic activity.
The Port Authority first announced plans to rehabilitate the decrepit station in October 2008, but the project was delayed several times by factors including the recession and Superstorm Sandy.
The construction is expected to be completed some time in 2015, the agency said.