NY Completes $1.8M Project To Stop Trucks From Striking Bridge

Sean Adams
September 06, 2019 - 1:02 pm
Westchester County Executive George Latimer

File photo/The Journal News

RYE BROOK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Westchester County has completed a $1.8 million project to prevent trucks from hitting the infamous King Street Bridge.

In 2018, the bridge in Rye Brook – at the border with Greenwich, Connecticut – was struck 24 times by trucks. Between 2008 and 2018, the bridge was struck a totally of 130 times, according to Westchester officials.

The frequent collisions have made the bridge infamous and drivers who travel along the route know all too well the traffic nightmare the accidents cause.

Westchester County was at a loss for what to do and Executive George Latimer feared the worst would happen.

“If truck hits and breaks apart and it's carrying any kind of chemicals, or any kind of a dangerous product, then we’re dealing with evacuations,” he said.

He asked Albany for help in fixing the problem, and the state answered. Lawmakers put up $1.8 million to install large warning signs and infrared lights that trigger flashing alerts for truck drivers to pull over if their vehicle exceeds the height allowance of the bridge.

“These censors that are mounted on either side of the roadway produce an infrared beam that's carried over the parkway. When an over height vehicle actually hits the beam the receiver sends a signal and it activates a warning message alert onto the sign,” explains Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.

If the infrared beam is triggered, a signal is also sent to the county’s traffic management center, which has the ability to track and view the truck.

There have been no bridge strikes since the sensors were installed in March.

County officials note that in the majority of the cases, the bridge was struck by out of state truck drivers following GPS systems. They are now lobbying GPS services to update their maps with no truck warnings.