Governor Hochul unveils memorial to honor fallen highway workers at State Fair

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new memorial honoring New York’s fallen highway workers at the Great New York State Fair on Sunday.

The memorial is located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds.

It honors all transportation workers killed while doing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants, and towing service employees.

“This memorial honors the hardworking New Yorkers who put their personal safety on the line to build our bridges, pave our roads and maintain our infrastructure so the rest of us can reach our destinations safely,” Governor Hochul said. “This will serve as a lasting tribute to all those who lost their lives while performing their duties, and as a reminder that these dedicated workers are out there every day making our roads and bridges safer. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2003-2017, 1,844 workers lost their lives at road construction sites across the United State, averaging 123 lives lost per year.

The State Department of Transportation has lost 56 workers during its existence, according to the governor.

The memorial includes a centerpiece featuring a bronze sculpture of shovels, hard hats, and boots on a platform surrounded by four bronze traffic cones and a dedication plaque.

It features paved walkways and seating for respectful reflection and shrubs and trees have also been planted around the centerpiece and along the outside of the memorial.

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