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Report: Sen. Loretta Weinberg sent Sept. letter to Gov. Chris Christie about lane closures

Gov. Chris Christie speaks about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Gov. Chris Christie speaks about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Gov. Chris Christie speaks about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Gallery: Report: Sen. Loretta Weinberg sent Sept. letter to Gov. Chris Christie about lane closures

When exactly did Gov. Chris Christie first learn of the George Washington Bridge lane closures that caused gridlock Sept. 9-13?

That answer, which Christie first intimated as Oct. 1 after reading a Wall Street Journal story about the then simmering scandal, has gotten much fuzzier with every passing day over the last week.

Last week, at his epic two-hour press conference in Trenton, he said it likely wasn't the Oct. 1 story after all that filled him in on the debacle that has led to resignations and firings all the way from the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York to his executive offices in the New Jersey Capitol.

Instead, he vaguely said he likely learned of the September lane closures earlier, though he didn't give a specific date.

More coverage
  • Christie loses clout on his big night
  • Christie's use of Sandy relief money probed by Feds
  • Legislature beefs up investigation into bridge traffic
  • Now, a left-leaning Washington D.C.-based news website is reporting that the governor was copied on a letter from one of his political rivals, Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, dated Sept. 19 in which she asks for answers to the unpublicized closures of two access lanes to the country's busiest bridge.

    Talking Points Memo reported Monday that Weinberg sent a letter to a Port Authority commissioner, William Pat Schuber, that in part read: "I am at a loss for words regarding the Authority's sudden change in the traffic flow pattern to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee. Reducing the number of lanes during peak traffic times has caused a significant hardship for many in the area. This decision, made with no public comment, has created significant congestion in Bergen County."

    Christie was CCed on the letter, along with two assemblymen, the Port Authority chairman David Samson and Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

    A spokesman for Christie did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.

    "In the next couple weeks, I would like you to meet with me and my colleagues from the District to discuss the change in traffic patterns as well as the greater issue of transparency with the Authority. Please let me know when you are available to meet," Weinberg, who represents a portion of Bergen County that includes Fort Lee, concluded in her letter.

    Brian X. McCrone PHILLY.COM
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