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Long-Awaited GW Bridge Bus Terminal Renovation Causes Confusion

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TWC News: Long-Awaited GW Bridge Bus Terminal Renovation Causes Confusion
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It's hard to find anyone with a good word to say about the George Washington Bridge bus terminal. Now, a long-delayed upgrade is finally under way, but the work is causing some confusion for subway riders. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Which way to the subway station?

"Its location has been changed, so I'm confused right now," one rider says.

She's hardly alone.

On Monday, Washington Heights commuters began grappling with the renovation of the dreary George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal.

A passageway into the 175th Street A train station is closed—sending people outdoors to other station entrances.

Riders say that's not going to be pleasant, come winter.

"Depends how the snow will be. Whatever, I mean—right now, it's summer, there's construction everywhere. It's kind of a hassle," another rider says.

"I've seen a lot of confusion with the passengers. They don't know where to go. There's not enough signage indicating to the community where to go," says Community Board 12 District Manager Ebenezer Smith.

The Port Authority says $183 million makeover will be worth it for the 13,000 commuters that use the depot every day.

The 51-year-old depot hasn't had much more than a waiting area since the last of its shops closed at the end of 2012.

"It's kind of empty, kind of dull-looking. I hope when they renovate it, it will be much nicer. More stores, more shops, more places to eat," one commuter says.

That's all part of the plan: new gates, a modernized waiting area, and new businesses—including department stores and a gym.

The Port Authority says 324 jobs will be created during construction, with more to follow when the renovation is completed.

"More jobs for people. They need jobs to work," one rider says.

Those who travel through the station need to get to work, and they say the shutdown isn't making that easier.

"I knew it would be a mess. Typically, these things are a mess," another rider says.

During the course of construction, bus service will continue to operate out of the upper level of the bus terminal, though some loading and unloading platforms will have to be moved to accommodate the work that's being done.

That means covering your ears.

"Noise is unavoidable, but we also told them to reduce the noise," Smith says.

Straphangers will have to endure it for at least the next year, before the new depot is open.

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