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George Washington Bus Station building closing for renovations

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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) -- Starting Monday morning, the bus station at the Manhattan side of the George Washington Bridge will be shut down for a major overhaul and bus riders will use temporary trailers.

The bus station opened in January of 1963 with its distinctive triangular design located on the Manhattan end of the George Washington Bridge at 178th St.

This bus station handles about five million passenger trips a year or put another way about 10,000 round-trip rides per week day but it clearly has seen better days.

"It's empty and the store windows are boarded up," Laura Williams told PIX 11. "It needs new life and it's going to get it."

So come Monday morning, the first phase of a $183 million facelift will begin and last about a year.

The first phase of the reconstruction will be where riders get on and off the buses, which will be only on the top level. The lower-level will be closed to accommodate the work.

"It will be good for everyone," Marco Pena said. "More jobs in the neighborhood."

Eventually they'll be a new retail space and loading areas, better handicap accessibility and lighting and more clear signs telling people where to go. author and bus rider Ericka Williams says it'll make a huge difference.

"It will really make a difference in people's commute," Williams said.

Throughout the year long construction process, bus service will continue to operate without interruption, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but if I were you I'd budget some extra time if you can.