NEWARK - A federal judge in Newark has rescheduled the trial date for two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case to March so they can prepare their defense.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton filed an order late Thursday stating the trial will begin on March 7, after earlier moving it from July to November.

Former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni face charges including wire fraud and deprivation of civil rights.

They're accused of orchestrating the lane closings in September 2013 to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Former Port Authority official David Wildstein pleaded guilty and is expected to testify during the trial.