Newly released 911 and police radio tapes reveal that on the first morning of the controversial George Washington Bridge lane closures last year, officers and emergency responders in Fort Lee were grappling with city-wide traffic gridlock. At 8:52 a.m. on Sept. 9, a dispatcher warned paramedics leaving a hospital about coming to the Bergen County borough. "Fort Lee traffic is a nightmare," the dispatcher said.... At 9:02 a.m., a police officer was trying to help an ambulance plot ways to avoid inbound traffic. "Do you have a medical unit dispatched?" the officer asked a dispatcher. "The GW Bridge is totally gridlocked." Four minutes later, another officer complained of heavy traffic.
Fort Lee's municipal clerk released the tapes this morning as Gov. Chris Christie's office continues to deal with the political fallout from the lane closings at the nation's busiest bridge, which caused a traffic mess for days in the borough. [...] Today's tapes reveal that police were also told last September that the lanes were closed because a traffic study. "They're testing a new traffic pattern," the dispatcher told an officer at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 9. "It's down to one lane."