Senator Mannion And Assemblyman Magnarelli’s Legislation To Study And Identify Solutions To Eliminate Low Bridge Strikes Across The State Is Signed Into Law

SYRACUSE, NY – Senator John W. Mannion and Assemblyman Magnarelli today announced their legislation (S6644B/A7016B) requiring the State Department of Transportation to conduct and release publicly a study that compiles bridge strike data has been signed into law. The new law requires the state to identify solutions to prevent vehicle strikes on low bridges across the state, including the CSX bridge over the Onondaga Lake Parkway.

The legislation passed both houses unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Hochul today. 

Senator John W. Mannion said, “From the beginning of DOT’s recent steps to remediate bridge strikes on the Onondaga Lake Parkway, I have said we must balance public safety with the needs of local drivers, and this new law will help inform that effort. Anyone who hasn’t gotten the message to keep their truck off the parkway or ignores the many signs and warning systems should be ticketed. I thank Governor Hochul and my colleagues in the legislature for their partnership in keeping our roads safe and our government open, transparent, and focused on delivering solutions that benefit all New Yorkers.”

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli said, “Over-height vehicles striking low bridges is not just a problem in Onondaga County.  On an all too regular basis there are reports of bridges being struck across the State, despite the repeated efforts to warn commercial drivers.  It is important as policymakers that we have the most up to date information on this problem as we examine possible legislative solutions.  This new law will give us the data we need to make changes.”

New York State has an ongoing problem with vehicles hitting bridges and elevated structures that have low height restrictions. Often, the restrictions are unknown to operators or owners of large vehicles until they are in their immediate sight, which causes strikes to occur. This problem is not unique to the Onondaga Lake Parkway, which now has a sophisticated warning system with other bridges in the state continuing to experience similar vehicle strike problems.

In 2010, four people were killed when a bus hit the Onondaga Lake Parkway bridge, just one of hundreds of incidents dating to at least the 1950’s. Vehicle collisions with the low bridge have caused untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, stranded motorists, and drained precious emergency response resources. 

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