In N.J. hearing, Port Authority official denies involvement in bridge lane closures

 (NewsWorks File Photo)

(NewsWorks File Photo)

A commissioner of the agency that operates the George Washington Bridge testified today before the New Jersey legislative committee investigating the September’s lane closures that snarled traffic for four days in North Jersey.

Port Authority Commissioner Pat Schuber said he had no prior knowledge of the decision that led to the closures and caused four days of gridlock.

Schuber was questioned why he didn’t immediately take action in response to a letter from state Sen. Loretta Weinberg voicing concerns about the impact on public safety.

“This whole issue had become very, I thought, politically charged … or even partisan to a certain degree,” he said. “I saw this very quickly becoming a political football and, from my perspective, I just didn’t want to be involved with that.”

The Port Authority’s current structure is governable, said Schuber, adding that he opposes splitting it into separate New Jersey and New York agencies. An independent audit concluded the authority is dysfunctional, and lawmakers are pushing for reforms.

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