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Crews Finish Emergency Repairs On Outbound GWB

Also, Port Authority Execs Subpoenaed Over September Closures

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FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – All lanes are open on the George Washington Bridge from New York to New Jersey after workers finished emergency repairs to two lanes on the upper deck.

Crews worked feverishly through the night to repair a metal plate that shifted near the middle of the bridge where two large potholes had developed.

The shutdown forced traffic out of the city to a standstill during Wednesday night’s rush hour.

“It was awful, backed up bumper to bumper,” one driver said.

“It’s just ridiculous,” another man said. “In a major metropolitan area where people really need to get from Point A to Point B, with that kind of traffic, no one’s going anywhere.”

Crews have been working since August to replace all the plates on the upper level, but had not replaced the one that moved Wednesday. The ongoing overnight work continued Thursday night.

Last month, two inbound upper lanes of the bridge were closed overnight after problems with an expansion joint that resulted in a 4-foot-by-4-foot section of concrete crumbling away.

Meanwhile Thursday, executives with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were handed subpoenas and have one week to turn over emails and other documents related to the September closures of local-access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., to the George Washington Bridge.

The lanes were closed four times without warning, creating major delays. Port Authority officials had said the closures were necessary to conduct a traffic study. But three Port Authority officials testified Monday to a New Jersey state Assembly panel that there was no traffic study.

“We’ve seen email in which the deputy executive director, as soon as the deputy learned that the executive director was aggravated and angered by this, fired off an email from his iPhone to the executive director saying don’t talk to anybody until we talk first,” said New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville).

Some Democrats believe David Wildstein, the second-highest Port Authority, appointee from New Jersey. was sending a message to the Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid.

Wildstein announced his resignation last month. Christie has denied any involvement.

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