A truck recently hit the King Street Bridge in February, spilling thousands of cans across the parkway. County police spent several hours investigating the crash, and several workers were even seen cleaning up the cans of energy drinks from the roadway. Furthermore, heavy traffic encircled the northbound side of the Hutchinson River Parkway and all lanes were closed in the morning and early afternoon due to the crash. This was no surprise as the bridge has suffered over 130 strikes from 2008 to 2018.
The King Street Bridge on the border of Greenwich and Rye Brook has been experiencing a rather strange occurrence. It has been hit by trucks more times than any other bridge in New York state, suffering over 20 strikes just in 2018.
Although the number of hits this year are becoming fewer and fewer, it is still a major issue that many officials and local residents are concerned about. These bridge strikes have been causing serious traffic issues on King Street. Sometimes traffic is even diverted off of the parkway and onto local streets which causes a major inconvenience to motorists and other local residents. This issue has also been affecting many students and teachers who drive near or on the Hutchinson River Parkway to get to school.
The bridge trouble is impacting students’ education. One Blind Brook student states, “Sometimes I’m late to school since I have to go under the bridge, and there’s lots of traffic.”. Many others are having similar experiences and have been struggling to get to school on time due to the traffic.
“As you can imagine it is very frustrating every time a truck hits the King Street Bridge,” says Mayor Paul S. Rosenberg. He states that he has been working very closely with the state of New York to try to solve this problem. They have put up numerous electronic signs between Interstate 287 and the King Street exit. These signs inform drivers that low bridges are ahead and that trucks are urged to exit immediately. Moreover, the signs were an expensive project for the state and county totaling up to about $1.8 million. Although this project was quite costly, it paid off as there was a noticeable drop in bridge strikes this year.
“The state will continue to take aggressive action to reduce the frequency of these crashes and improve the safety and reliability of our roadways,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. He also plans to take action on this pressing issue by installing over height vehicle detectors before the bridge. This detector system will include receiver sensors on either side of the highway, accompanied by infrared transmitters that will create an infrared beam on the road.
Senator Charles Schumer of New York is also urging GPS apps such as Google and other navigation systems to add information about vehicle restrictions, especially those that are free to the public. Many other officials around the state are also trying to help reduce these crashes, and there’s no doubt that upcoming change will be brought to King Street.