FORT LEE - Repairs begin overnight on the upper deck of the George Washington Bridge, which could mean hour-long backups for drivers heading back to New Jersey from the city.

Contractors will replace sections of the steel beams that support the roadway on the 82-year-old bridge. The cranes needed for the project require three of the four lanes to be closed.

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Closures will run from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends. The work is expected to last through the end of the year.

The repairs are being funded by phased-in toll increases implemented in 2011 that will ultimately raise cash tolls from $8 to $15.

The work is part of a two-year, $82 million rehab project.