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Thruway Authority award to develop 'comprehensive safety action plan to improve roadway safety'


Mon, Dec 18th 2023 03:55 pm

Grant part of US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Law – Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Thruway Authority received an award of a $1.2 million federal grant as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Law – Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant.

Her team said, “The funding will be used to develop a comprehensive safety action plan for the 570-mile thruway corridor statewide. This plan will outline actionable strategies for achieving the Thruway Authority’s safety goals outlined in the recently board-approved strategic plan, including reducing the number of incidents and fatalities, reducing the number of traffic-related work zone incidents, decreasing the number of employee injuries, and implementing best-in-class training opportunities for employees and contractors.”

“Keeping New Yorkers safe is my top priority,” Hochul said. “These funds will be critical to ensuring that the millions of drivers from across the country who rely on the thruway every year can use the road safely. I am grateful to our partners in the federal government and the New York congressional delegation for their support.”

New York State Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Frank G. Hoare, Esq., said, “Safety is at the core of everything we do at the Thruway Authority, and we are firmly committed to providing a safe and reliable highway for our motorists and employees. This grant will help us develop a comprehensive safety action plan that will increase the safety of our roadway by identifying and implementing strategies that create life-saving enhancements across the thruway system.”

The Thruway Authority applied for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant in July and is one of 14 recipients in upstate New York.

A press release stated, “The comprehensive safety action plan will be developed through a collaborative effort including agency partners, community stakeholders and the public, and it will include a community outreach campaign that involves the public and other stakeholders throughout the process to collect diverse input and ensure equitable representation across the thruway system. Trends and circumstances specific to the thruway corridor will be analyzed and evaluated to develop the comprehensive plan, including projects, countermeasures, innovative technologies, high-impact strategies, policy and guideline review, data collection, reporting and data storage.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Investing in projects that improve roadway safety is vital to preventing future traffic tragedies in our communities. This grant will fund the development of a critical safety action plan for the 570-mile-long thruway corridor and help save lives.”

Among Safest Highways in Country

Hochul’s team said, “The nearly 70-year-old thruway system continues to be one of the safest highways in the nation. In 2022, the thruway-wide fatality rate was 0.16 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, one of the lowest recorded rates on the thruway system since fatality rates have been documented in 1954. The figure is significantly lower than the projected nationwide traffic fatality rate for 2022 of 1.30, and the latest New York state traffic fatality rate from 2020 of 1.00.

“Built in the early 1950s, the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway is one of the oldest components of the National Interstate Highway System and one of the longest toll roads in the nation. It sets the standard for modern highway geometric design with safe roadway characteristics, including smooth curves, wide medians and unobstructed driver sight distance.

“The comprehensive safety action plan will serve as the Thruway Authority’s guide to direct investment decisions related to key safety needs to achieve reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries. The Thruway Authority has committed to providing an additional $300,000 to bring the total funding of the plan to $1.5 million.”

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