The accident occurred Thursday afternoon on the southbound eastern spur of the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 15X in Secaucus.
Traffic backed up along the Turnpike all the way along Route 495, and resulted in gridlock at the approaches to the tunnel.
The West Side Highway south was also brought to a standstill from 96th Street down to 42nd Street.
Just as those delays were easing, a truck leaked oil in the north tube, blocking one lane and leading to additional backups.
There were delays of over an hour at the Lincoln Tunnel heading to New Jersey.