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Another day at the office: Workers paint George Washington Bridge 330 feet above water

John Munson / The Star-Ledger

Painting supervisor Kevin McSweeney walks out onto one of the cables on the George Washington Bridge to inspect the painting operations in Fort Lee, NJ, on July 10.

John Munson / The Star-Ledger

Obed Gonzalez paints one of the large cables on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, NJ, on July 10.

It was as he was selecting his harness that New Jersey Star-Ledger photographer John Munson realized that he, too, would be joining the George Washington Bridge painters high above rush-hour traffic on the cables suspending the bridge over the Hudson River. As he and reporter Steve Strunsky headed to the span's midpoint, Munson focused on shooting the Port Authority workers and tuning out the vibrations from morning commuters heading into New York City below them.

For the painters, it is just another day at the office. They work on maintaining the bridge year-round, completing a full paint job in approximately 18 months. The Star-Ledger's Steve Strunsky reports:

Kevin McSweeney stood 330 feet above the Hudson River on one of four 36-inch diameter cables strung between the twin towers of the George Washington Bridge.

Manhattan-bound cars and trucks whooshed 100 feet below him as his crew of five bridge painters worked on a narrow platform. Clipped to safety wires, they used rollers to coat the cables with an aluminum-based protective layer.

It was 9 a.m. and already hot under a blazing July sun. But the small gang of adrenaline junkies applied the silvery coating with amazing speed and coordination, seemingly oblivious to the dizzying height.

Read the complete story.

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John Munson / The Star-Ledger

Keith Schmitt paints the top of the south cable on the George Washington Bridge. Fort Lee, NJ, on July 10.