Port Authority Takes Steps to Keep Pedestrians Off Lower Level of GWB
The agency is installing fencing with locked gates and “keeping a closer eye” on the area with no public walkway but where a woman was found early Saturday stuck in a grate, as the investigation into how she got there continues.
The case of a Leonia woman who ended up with an ankle injury early Saturday after ending up in an area of the George Washington Bridge that’s off-limits to pedestrians has prompted the Port Authority to start putting in place safeguards to ensure it remains that way and prevent future incidents, an agency spokesman said.
Christine McQuaid, 26, was found with her foot stuck in a grate on the bridge’s lower level, which does not have any public walkways, and officials were called after motorists reported seeing McQuaid waving for help, according to Steve Coleman of the Port Authority.
McQuaid was found in an area used by workers near the New Jersey side and taken to the hospital and treated for an ankle injury.
On Sunday, Coleman told The Record that the agency would “take immediate action” to make sure there couldn’t be a repeat of the bizarre incident.
“We’re going to take immediate steps to make sure no one else can access this particular area,” Coleman told the paper.
He also said the Port Authority would take “a very comprehensive look” at the area in question.
Speaking Tuesday, Coleman elaborated on those comments and provided an update.
“We had Port Authority maintenance personnel at that location throughout the weekend,” Coleman told Patch. “They were building some additional fencing with locked gates at the location where this individual got in.”
He described that location as “the lower level, westbound, on the New Jersey side of the bridge.”
“We’re also going to have our [Port Authority Police Department] keep a closer eye on that area,” Coleman said. “We have longer-term plans to provide better closed circuit TV cameras in that location so they can better keep an eye on that particular spot on the bridge.”
Meanwhile, the investigation into exactly how McQuaid, who police said had been drinking prior to the incident, ended up where on the bridge she was found.
“She told us that she entered from the New York side and walked all the way, practically, across the bridge to this location, where she then got stuck in the grating,” Coleman said. “We have some questions about whether that scenario actually happened or she was dropped off by someone much closer to that location, and then became disoriented and ended up getting stuck in the grate.”