I-84 crash gate agreement secured

Wawayanda. Gov. Hochul announced a formal maintenance agreement between the state DOT and the town, with construction expected to begin this spring.

| 15 Feb 2024 | 03:47

Emergency responders will soon have a quicker route to access crashes along the long stretch of I-84 that runs through the town of Wawayanda, after a formal maintenance agreement was reached between the NYS Department of Transportation and the town of Wawayanda, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, February 14. I

n December 2023, the federal highway department had given the greenlight for a crash gate, paving the way for the deal announced this week.

According to Hochul’s announcement, installation and construction is expected to take place this spring. Under the agreement, the state DOT will design and install a new entranceway and access gate at County Route 49 that will provide access to the westbound lane of I-84; the town of Wawayanda will maintain the entranceway and ramp thereafter. Access to the eastbound lane will be available via an existing turnaround near the access gate. Access to the gate will only be permitted to emergency service providers and maintenance crews.

While emergency responders and town officials have been pushing for a crash gate for a while, the need was made clear last September when a charter bus carrying 40 students and four adults from Nassau County rolled into a ravine along that stretch of highway, resulting in two fatalities and 40 injuries. Officials argued at the time that emergency crews would have been able to respond to the crash sooner if that part of the highway had an emergency access point.

“Since the terrible accident on Interstate 84, I have been laser focused on working with our local and federal partners to approve the new emergency access gate and keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said. “This access gate will allow police, fire departments, and other emergency service providers a faster, more direct way to reach Interstate 84 and save lives.”