News

Port Authority: Exposed Finger Joint To Blame For 20 Disabled Vehicles On GWB

Flat Tires Lead To Irate Motorists And Extensive Delays Coming From N.J.
George Washington Bridge - Fort Lee, NJ (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

George Washington Bridge – Fort Lee, NJ (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You might want to avoid the inbound upper level of the George Washington Bridge during the overnight hours.

Port Authority crews are currently working to fix an exposed finger joint on the bridge that was responsible for disabling 20 cars and closing two lanes. The finger joint is a small piece of exposed metal that resulted in primarily flat tires, officials said.

One woman told CBS 2 she suffered two flat tires.

“My husband and I were driving over the GW Bridge around 9:30 this evening and we hit a bump in the road, a very hard bump, and we pulled right over,” Rena Allen said. “We were just getting into the Manhattan side. We pulled right over and noticed that our front and back left side tires were flat. And then we noticed that at least five cars in front of us and at least 10 cars behind us, the exact same thing.”

The Port Authority said the repairs were expected to take 90 minutes. There was no immediate word on the extent of the delays, but they were believed to be 60-90 minutes heading to the bridge.

GWB flat tire

One of the flat tires caused by an exposed finger joint on the George Washington Bridge. (Photo: Rena Allen)

“Apparently it was the forks that hold the bridge together. One had popped up and that’s what everyone was popping their tires on. It seems as though all of the damage that we saw was flat tires. However, we did see an ambulance behind us and it’s very possible that it did cause an accident because, very quickly, a lot of cars had to pull over,” Allen said. “It didn’t seem like a safe place to be, but everyone was very calm and was helping each other and the police came fairly quickly.”

Allen told CBS 2 she and her husband were not immediately towed from the scene of the mishap, but instead were forced to drive on their rims to another location, where they were met by tow trucks.

“No tow trucks would come to the bridge and they wouldn’t allow us to be towed from the bridge, so we had to drive on two flat tires into Washington Heights and we got a tow truck from there. We were towed around midnight and there were at least 15 cars behind us that were waiting to be towed,” Allen said.

Please stay with CBSNewYork.com on Wednesday morning for more on this developing story …