CBS2 Exclusive: Bayonne Bridge Closure Sparks ‘Insane’ Sunday Night Gridlock

UPDATE 7/19/2017 1:46 p.m. Bayonne Bridge to reopen Sunday, July 23 at 3 p.m.

BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Sunday night traffic has been a major headache for travelers trying to cross from New Jersey to New York.

A full closure of the Bayonne Bridge created conditions that some have described as “insane.”

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello found during an exclusive report, Perth Amboy was like one big parking lot on Sunday night. It was so bad that Mayor Wilda Diaz decided to stream the madness.

“It’s just endless — look at this! All the way down Convery Boulevard,” she said.

Twitter users called conditions on the New Jersey Turnpike “apocalyptic” and “insane.”

Drivers were stuck for hours on a summer Sunday night.

“Can you imagine if you have a carload, three or four kids, sitting there, moving inches at a time,” Mike Reilly said.

He was inching forward towards Staten Island.

The weekend closure of the Bayonne Bridge has been blamed for much of the traffic mess — jamming up the turnpike as vehicles divert towards the Outerbridge Crossing.

Many drivers have looked for relief on local roads, creating problems in Perth Amboy.

It got so bad that the Port Authority took to social media to ask drivers to stay on the highway to access the Outerbridge.

It prompted one driver to ask why the Bayonne Bridge wasn’t open to alleviate traffic.

CBS2 Demanded Answers on Monday, and after first defending the need for a full weekend closure of the bridge, the Port Authority did a partial u-turn.

“We committed today, that the bridge will no longer be closed on Sunday night as it has in the past. The bridge will reopen Sunday afternoons in time to accommodate traffic returning from summer weekends,” the Port Authority said.

“Keeping it open Sunday night, so people can get home is a good compromise,” Reilly said.

The Port Authority said it heard the complaints and is adjusting accordingly. It’s good news for tens of thousands of drivers.

Mayor Diaz says she will meet with Port Authority officials on Tuesday. She’s looking to find out, among other things, exactly how early on Sunday afternoons the bridge will reopen.

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