February 20, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces FY 2020 Executive Budget Includes $25 Million for Bridge Strike Prevention on State Parkways

Governor Cuomo Announces FY 2020 Executive Budget Includes $25 Million for Bridge Strike Prevention on State Parkways

New State-of-the-Art Technologies and Automated Devices Deployed to Warn Drivers of Immediate Danger

576 Bridge Strikes on New York State Highways Since 2015

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's today announced that the 2019-20 Executive Budget includes $25 million to mitigate bridge strikes on parkways across New York State by deploying new state-of-the-art technologies and automated devices -- including dual infrared beams, audible bells, and warning signs with flashing beacons -- to warn drivers of immediate danger. There have been 576 bridge strikes on New York State highways since 2015, causing injuries, traffic delays and damage to bridges and highway infrastructure.

"Bridge strikes are not only a public safety concern but also cause significant delays on high-traffic parkways across New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The State has taken aggressive action in recent years to reduce the frequency of these crashes including installing new over-height detectors and warning signs on parkways, but more needs to be done. This proposed funding will bolster our efforts to curb bridge strikes and enhance safety and reliability of critical highways across the state."

The Governor's Executive Budget would invest $25 million to warn drivers of immediate danger near low bridges. In addition to sending warnings directly to commercial vehicle operators, the systems push notifications to law enforcement personnel. The initiative also calls for significantly increasing penalties for commercial vehicle operators who disobey over-height vehicle warning devices.

At the Governor's direction, the New York State Department of Transportation has been testing innovative over-height vehicle detection technologies along parkways in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City and Syracuse.

New York State parkways traditionally have bridges that are lower than the standard legal bridge clearance. Commercial vehicles, school buses, tractor trailers and other tall vehicles are prohibited from driving on parkways.

Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "This low bridge warning system will prevent bridge hits before they happen, enhancing safety for the thousands of commuters and residents who travel the State's Parkways every day. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, this is another smart investment that is making it easier than ever to travel the state."

Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in work zones. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver's license.

For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit www.511NY.org, or the mobile site at m.511ny.org.

Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT.


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