Fact-checkers: Christie Wrong About 'Dedicated' GW Bridge Lanes

Monday, 23 Dec 2013 06:24 PM

By Cathy Burke

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New fuel is fanning the flames of controversy over a bridge traffic jam that's dogging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: a fact-checking organization has said that one of Christie's statements is untrue.

Christie has groused that three lanes leading to the busy George Washington Bridge are "dedicated" to Fort Lee, N.J., where the span begins on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.

"The fact that one town has three lanes dedicated to it, that kind of gets me sauced," Christie said Dec. 2 after lawmakers subpoenaed the director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, to testify about the Sept. 9-13 closures, the fact-checking website Politifact noted.

The closures caused colossal traffic jams in Fort Lee and sparked charges that they were ordered out of political spite because Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich didn't endorse Christie's re-election. Port Authority officials said the closures were part of a traffic study.

But Politifact gave the governor's assertion about "dedicated" lanes a "pants-on-fire" rating.

"Christie is way off here," Politifact wrote. "The facts are that the George Washington Bridge is physically in Fort Lee and there are local-access lanes from the bridge. But none of the lanes are dedicated for use only in or by the borough. All motorists are able to use them as an entry point to the span."

The Republican governor has blown off the controversy, dubbed "Bridgegate," as sensationalized,  but he's wrong there, a Newark Star-Ledger columnist said last week.

Columnist Paul Mulshine told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that Christie may be the target of an ambitious investigator.

"It's a very big deal because John Wisniewski, the Assembly Transportation Committee chair, he's . . . got ambitions of moving up," Mulshine said.

"So, he could use this as a Watergate-style inquiry to make his name statewide, possibly run for governor next time around, that kind of thing."



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