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Morning After Leonia Officials Close Streets At Rush Hour: GWB Gridlock

The GWB.
The GWB. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

LEONIA, N.J. -- The morning after Leonia officials agreed to close local streets to non-residents during the early and evening rush, traffic jammed the borough early Wednesday, due to emergency repairs on the George Washington Bridge.

Crews were repairing finger joints, which allow the expansion bridge to expand and contract while cutting road noise, overnight and into the early morning, the Port Authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

The night before, Leonia's mayor and council approved an ordinance that will close roughly 60 roads to non-residents daily from 6-10 a.m. and 4-9 p.m.

"The ordinance was enacted to enhance public safety within the borough," Police Chief Thomas Rowe said Wednesday morning.

"Whenever there are significant delays at the George Washington Bridge, thousands of motorists using GPS navigation apps like Waze leave the nearby major highways (Rt 4, 46 and 95) looking for shortcuts," the chief said.

"The vehicles leaving the highways completely inundates our borough and completely compromises public safety."

A pedestrian three years was struck and dragged to her death when there were 90-minute delays at the bridge, Rowe noted.

"This morning, we again have complete gridlock" because of the GWB repairs, he said.

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