An overhaul of the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Upper Manhattan is more than two years behind schedule. But now the Port Authority says the station will finally re-open up next week. Our Michael Scotto has the story:
For many commuters in northern Manhattan, it's a struggle just to get on the bus.
"The stairs are not for older people," says one commuter.
"It's hell, 'cause I'm out of breath just walking up," says another.
For nearly three years, commuters have had to climb a long flight of stairs to board their buses, as construction workers below renovated the Port Authority's George Washington Bridge Bus Station.
The Washington Heights transportation hub is used by 5 million people a year, many of them commuting to and from New Jersey.
"I have to walk up all the stairs. I used to be able to take an elevator, escalator," one user says..
The $183 million project began in 2014 and was supposed to wrap up less than a year later.
It is now more than two years behind schedule, but the developer hired by the Port Authority to do the project insists the station will finally open next week. It's a promise residents have heard before.
Earlier this year, the developer told NY1 the bus station would open in April - and in an email last month it said it was working to meet that date.
Less than two weeks later, we were told the station would open May 1s.t
May 1st then changed to May 15th two days later.
On Wednesday, the developer said the station would be handed over to the Port Authority on Monday, so it could be re-open on Tuesday.
Local politicians have had enough.
"We understand that sometimes there will be some delays but this is excessive," says Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa (D-Manhattan).
The developer blames the delays on having to work above a busy network of highways, and says over the last several weeks it has been testing public safety systems as well as elevators and escalators.
All the delays have cost the developer $5,000 every work day for 13 months.
Are commuters convinced it will actually open next week?
Says one man, "Absolutely not, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's gonna be a Tuesday in 2018."