An email from the George Washington Bridge’s general manager on the first day of the Fort Lee traffic jams shed some light Friday on the frustration the incident had on local officials, according to newly released documents.
Robert Durando, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s general manager of the GWB, detailed in an email to other authority members the frustration the congestion had on Fort Lee officials.
“We fielded 10 or so angry customers regarding there being only 1 toll lane available for Fort Lee and I had an unpleasant interaction with Fort Lee police chief and assistant chief about congesting the borough, and preventing the smooth flow of emergency response vehicles throughout the borough,” Durando wrote.
“Their characterization was that the ‘test’ was a monumental failure. Fort Lee is not happy,” he wrote. “Our [police department] spent an extended period working the intersections and implemented diversions that further congested the borough.”
The documents were released Friday after Assembly lawmakers subpoenaed Durando and other authority officials for documents related to the GWB lane closures.
In general manager’s documents, the Port Authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye, sends an email to Durando on Sept. 13 advising him to “please call [Foye] after 6 a.m.”
“He asked about the test. He asked why he wasn’t told,” Durando wrote to former Port Authority executive David Wildstein in a following email.
“His staff knows, but bb will to him (sic),” wrote Wildstein, in a likely reference to Gov. Chris Christie’s appointee to the authority, Bill Baroni.
“Let’s me know what he says, thanks,” Wildstein wrote.