FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Just when you think the traffic can’t get worse at the George Washington Bridge, it just did.
It’s because of a surprise change that drivers didn’t even know about. CBS2’s Alex Denis investigates why drivers weren’t made aware of the change.
Forget the ride you used to know, what drivers on the Palisades Parkway heading to the GWB may not realize is the new daily delay is a permanent reality – a change from what used to be one of the quickest approaches to the bridge. It’s a new traffic pattern for the PIP Helix, as it’s known, a curved entrance bridge to the GWB.
WEB EXTRA: CBS2’s Alex Denix Confronts Port Authority Officials
After decades as a two-lane structure, it’s down to one lane for construction. But, surprise, the six lanes’ severe merge into just one will remain forever when the new helix is unveiled.
CBS2 went to a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey meeting to find out why the change. The chief engineer cited safety.
“It comes down to what’s the safest situation and meeting design standard,” he said.
So CBS2 requested, several times, to see the accident reports on the helix showing the need for a new traffic pattern. When the station finally got them, there were virtually none. Most happened before or after being on the helix.
Nevertheless, the change is permanent, and almost no one knew about it – not a mention on the Port Authority website or even a sign on site for drivers to see.
Drivers that Denis spoke to disapproved of the change.
“I think they should do a better job in getting it fixed. There’s only one lane,” one person said. “It’s a big mistake.”
So for now, drivers sit and simmer, not even knowing what they’re sitting in is forever.