Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction and installation of an over-height vehicle detection system at two interchanges on the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Hudson Valley have been completed. The purpose of the systems is to identify over-height commercial vehicles illegally entering Parkway ramps – an effort to improve safety on the Parkway. The detection systems were built at the Mamaroneck Avenue southbound ramp onto the Parkway and at the four ramps from I-287/Westchester Avenue onto the Parkway. The detection systems’ functionality is currently being tested. A photo of one of the detectors can be found here.
“This administration has been focused on improving New York’s transportation network and better protecting those who rely on it,” Governor Cuomo said.” Installing these devices will help with these goals and ensure that a vital Hudson Valley roadway safer and more reliable for those depend on it.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “Our transportation infrastructure must be taken care of in order to save travelers time and save taxpayers money. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, our parkways -- especially the Hutchinson River Parkway -- will be safer for those who live, work and travel in the Hudson Valley.”
The detection systems, developed by New York State Department of Transportation, are designed to prevent commercial trucks from entering the Parkway, where they could strike low bridges. This is the latest effort by DOT to keep commercial vehicles off parkways and improve roadway safety across the State. Bridge strikes often result in serious accidents, significant traffic delays for motorists and sometimes damage to the bridges.
Large commercial trucks and tractor trailers are prohibited from entering parkways in New York State because the roadways, which were built in the 1930s and 1940s, have low bridge clearance and were designed only for cars.
Using infrared beams, the detection systems identify over-height vehicles illegally entering the Parkway ramps and trigger large, bright electronic messages instructing drivers to pull over and call Westchester County Police for assistance. Once triggered, the systems will automatically send alerts to operators at the Department of Transportation’s Traffic Management Center, which will also notify the Westchester County Police to assist in getting the trucks safely off the ramps and roadways.
This project was part of a $5 million pilot program approved by Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature last year. Under the Governor’s direction, the Department of Transportation has taken a series of steps to investigate and reduce the number of bridge strikes caused by commercial vehicles on parkways and highways. DOT has improved signage and road markings, installed flashing beacons and electronic variable message signs alerting truck drivers of travel and bridge height restrictions and has improved mapping information available to truckers through GPS services, industry groups, brochures, and the 511NY travel information service.
The Department of Transportation and the New York State Police also lead a multi-state, inter-agency bridge hit task force, which shares information between state, local and private entities in the New York City metro region. As part of this effort, DOT has convened discussions with insurance companies, map providers, GPS manufacturers, and the trucking industry to collaborate on safety improvements.
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