The Port Authority has launched an “internal review” into the closure of access lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge last month, a move that snarled local traffic and prompted questions from lawmakers.
Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye told the Star-Ledger Wednesday that the agency's review was ongoing. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), who attended the agency’s public board meeting, said she would move to grant subpoena power over the bi-state authority’s testimony and documents to allow a senate committee to probe the closures, the newspaper reported.
Weinberg is among a group of elected officials who have pushed for answers on what prompted the lane closures.
“I’m glad they’re taking very small steps, but they’re taking much too long,” Weinberg said of the agency’s internal review, the Star-Ledger reported.
For his part, Foye blasted the closures in a Sept. 13 internal e-mail sent to senior Port Authority officials. He ordered the lanes to be reopened and said public safety could have been jeopardized.
Port Authority police and traffic engineering officials were not informed ahead of the change, Foye wrote in the email obtained by the Wall Street Journal. His message called into question the Port Authority’s public explanation that the closures were part of a traffic study.
Fort Lee officials were not alerted ahead of the closure of two of three approach lanes, and the move led to speculation that the closures were a political strike at Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie, who jointly controls the Port Authority with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A Christie campaign spokesman called the claim “crazy,” according to a Wall Street Journal report. Sokolich has also dismissed the rumors.