Officials Were Told Bridge Closure Was ‘Playing God With People’s Jobs’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Internal emails released Friday reveal that top officials were bombarded with complaints from local residents about how the politically-charged closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge was harming their lives.

One email from an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey dated Sept. 9 to the bridge’s general manager, Robert Durando, says a woman called to discuss her hardship.

The email reads: “I just got another call from a patron… she says that the Port Authority ‘doesn’t care about their customers and they are playing God with people’s jobs’. Her husband was 40 minutes late to a job that he just got after being out of work for over a year. She said a lot of other things, but I will spare you her rant!”

Another email from a different official, dated Sept. 12, to Durando said there “have been several complaint calls coming to Bob’s line.” The official said that the one individual was “complaining about the traffic change and saying he has a $1M home in Fort Lee and bought this home to be close to the bridge/work and pays a lot of taxes why this change?”

The email continued: “He mentioned to me that if he doesn’t speak to anyone about this, he will go to the White House and Media.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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