December 5, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Installation of Over-Height Vehicle Detectors to Prevent Bridge Strikes on Long Island Parkways

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Installation of Over...

Innovative Technology Have Already Prevented Thousands of Strikes Across State

Photos of the Detectors Available Here

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the installation of new technology that will help stop over-height vehicles from entering Long Island parkways in order to prevent dangerous bridge strikes on low parkway overpasses. The $4.3 million project involves installing over-height vehicle detectors at 13 locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"Every bridge strike is not only a danger to the motorists and passengers involved, but also exacerbates the very serious traffic problems that Long Islanders experience every day," Governor Cuomo said. "With the installation of these detectors, we are moving this region's parkways into the 21st century with state-of-the-art technology designed to prevent these bridge strikes and improve the safety and reliability of these vital roadways."

Detectors at the top of a ramp will relay an invisible beam that is set at a specific bridge clearance height for the area. An over-height vehicle entering would break the beam, triggering a warning message on a full color LED variable message sign display. The warning would indicate that the vehicle is over height and alerts the driver of impending bridge strikes ahead. A camera linked to the New York State Department of Transportation's regional traffic management center will record the incident.

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. Locations for the over-height detector systems were determined from places where trucks have been known to improperly enter parkways.

State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "At the State Department of Transportation, safety is our top priority and we strive to utilize modern technology to keep our roads safe for all users. Preventing trucks from entering the parkways before striking a low bridge will improve safety for Long Islanders for many years to come."

Sites that were completed on time and on budget through November are:

  • Southbound Eagle Avenue to eastbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County
  • Sunrise Highway north service road to westbound Heckscher/Southern State Parkway in the town of Islip, Suffolk County
  • Southbound State Route 106/107 to eastbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County
  • Northbound State Route 106/107 to eastbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay
  • Southbound State Route 106/107 to westbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay

Additionally, truck detectors are being installed and expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 at:

  • Eastbound Interstate 495/Long Island Expressway ramp to eastbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County
  • Westbound Interstate 495/Long Island Expressway ramp to westbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay
  • Northbound Peninsula Boulevard to eastbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County
  • Southbound Peninsula Boulevard to westbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Hempstead
  • Southbound State Route 135/Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway to westbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Hempstead
  • Southbound State Route 111 to westbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Islip, Suffolk County
  • Northbound State Route 111 to westbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Islip
  • Spur Drive North ramp to westbound Southern State Parkway in the town of Islip

Over-height detector systems were installed on three other Long Island locations in 2014, including:

  • Northbound State Route 106/107 to westbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay
  • Northbound State Route 135/Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway to westbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay
  • Westbound Long Island Expressway to westbound Northern State Parkway in the town of Oyster Bay

Similar systems were installed on five parkways in the Hudson Valley in 2015.

In 2016 there were 30 percent fewer bridge strikes on the Hutchinson River Parkway than there were in 2012. The system has prevented thousands of over-height buses, box trucks, tractor trailers and more from hitting low bridges along the Parkway.

NYSDOT installed a slightly different system in 2011 along the Onondaga Lake Parkway in Salina, near Syracuse, to prevent over-height vehicles from striking a low railroad bridge. That location saw a reduction in bridge hits from several per year, to an average of one per year and has saved hundreds of over-height vehicles from approaching the bridge.

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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