The incident began when a fuel tanker punctured its tank, spilling fuel on the eastbound Trans-Manhattan Expressway, the road that connects the George Washington Bridge to the Cross-Bronx Expressway.
As many as seven tractor trailers lost control on the fuel slick and skidded out just before 4:30 a.m., causing a chain-reaction crash.
No injuries were reported, but authorities had to close the bridge's inbound upper level for hours as they cleared the tractor-trailers.
Traffic on the bridge's lower level was not affected, and non-truck traffic was encouraged to take the local level.
Cars were also encouraged to take the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, which were expected to have residual delays.
Eastbound lanes of the Cross-Bronx Expressway were temporarily closed after the crash for sand distribution, but those lanes were quickly reopened.