Emergency Lane Closures on George Washington Bridge Cause Gridlock for 2nd Time in Less than 1 Week

gwb delays dec 11
Frank Heinz, NBCDFW.com

For the second time in less than a week, drivers trying to get into New Jersey from New York City Monday found themselves stuck in hours of gridlock because of emergency lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Two westbound lanes were closed for much of the evening, causing massive backups. Another lane shut down at 9 p.m. for a planned rehabilitation project on the structural steel deck, leaving just one of the four upper-level westbound lanes open until all lanes were cleared for traffic Tuesday morning. 

The upper-level westbound lanes of the GWB were closed so emergency repairs could be made to a support beam under the roadway, according to The Record. The work was scheduled to last only a few hours, but authorities said the lanes would remain closed into the night before the evening commute.

Traffic was further complicated because of an accident on eastbound Interstate 80 near Saddle Brook.

Motorists sat frustrated in traffic during rush hour as they waited to cross the bridge.

"Might as well put it in park," said Adam Rothman of Orange County.

This was the third time in the last several weeks that authorities had to shut down lanes in order to make emergency repairs, and some drivers were tired of the abrupt closures. 

"It's been twice in a week. It took me three hours to get home last week, it's ridiculous," said Mary Keane of Suffern. "Thirteen dollars a day, somebody needs to do something. I don't know what kind of emergency could be happening each time."

Brynn Gingras contributed to this report. 

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