BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — A suburban mayor is imploring the New York State Department of Transportation to speed up safety improvements on a challenging stretch of road.
It’s Route 9A in central Westchester.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday, it was not designed for the hundreds of big trucks that travel it every day.
It’s a stretch of road with a bad reputation.
“I’ve heard of trucks like getting their tops ripped off on there,” one person said.
That’s Route 9A, approaching Pleasantville Road in Briarcliff Manor.
Clearance in the right lane is just 10 feet, 10 inches. Tall trucks must merge left to make it safely under.
“They are forced into the fast lane or they’ll strike the bridge,” said Briarcliff Manor Mayor Steven Vescio.
Vescio says three weeks ago, trucks collided when one suddenly stopped to avoid hitting the overpass.
“The trucks have to move over real quick, to obviously maneuver to get under that pass. Yes it is a hazard,” said Ossining resident Eric Berrios.
Eighteen years ago, Aiello covered the aftermath of a fuel truck that crash and burned after it hit a car in its blind spot while merging back into the right lane after clearing the bridge.
Local officials say the 90-year-old road was not designed to handle 45,000 vehicles a day, and feel the state DOT ignores maintenance.
“It shouldn’t take months to repair a piece of broken guardrail,” Vescio said.
The village says it notified the DOT about a break in March.
Vescio has written a series of letters to Albany, one reading “I implore DOT to immediately take action and remedy the issues on Route 9A.”
“The state first and foremost needs to maintain the roadway better. And they need to also get on these major upgrades that are long overdue,” Vescio said.
Such as completely redoing the overpass, so trucks don’t have to merge left to make it under.
Locals view the road as being functionally obsolete after 90 years, and want to know what the state plans for its future.
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