GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two lawmakers have asked the Department of Transport (DOT) to do something about trucks repeatedly striking the Glenridge Road bridge overpass in Glenville. Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville) and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) have repeated their calls for the DOT to step in and improve safety measures around the bridge.
In June 2020, Senator Tedisco said the overpass on Glenridge Road had been hit more than 50 times in the past few years, with each hit costing taxpayers around $50,000. In November, Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik said the bridge has averaged 15 collisions per year since it opened in 2013.
Senator Tedisco released a statement on Friday, saying that beyond the burden it places on local tax payers, the bridge is also putting lives at risk:
“We’ve asked repeatedly for the DOT to do something to enhance traffic safety at the Glenridge Road bridge overpass in Glenville and all we’ve gotten is half-measures and excuses. Meanwhile, at the Glenridge Road bridge overpass, it’s like ‘Groundhog Day’ on a regular basis with one bridge strike after another putting lives at risk and burdening local taxpayers. It’s time for the state to listen to myself and Assemblywoman Walsh as well as Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle and the Town of Glenville and take action to potentially save lives.
This is not only an economic development issue for Glenville and the 49th Senate District in terms of impact on local taxpayers and traffic tie-ups on this busy connector between Glenville and Clifton Park, it’s also a public safety matter because heaven-forbid a truck gets stuck under the bridge and its roof goes flying into the windshield of an oncoming automobile.”Senator Jim Tedisco
Currently, 14 DOT warning signs are in place on both sides of the Glenridge Road rail bridge warning of the height restriction.
Despite the signs, regular accidents continue to happen. Tedisco and Walsh are now calling for the Governor and DOT to take action on two fronts.
They are asking the DOT to prevent trucks from using Glenridge Road between Route 146 and the “Glenridge Circle” at the intersection of Maple, Glenridge and Hetcheltown by implementing a new truck route. The route would begin at Route 146 and 146A before proceeding down 146 to Aqueduct Road, over to Maxon, then back up Freemans Bridge Rd.
Alongside the new route, the lawmakers are asking for an electronic detection system to be installed near the Rt. 146 intersection. They argue the system could warn drivers that there is a low bridge ahead.
The system would need to be installed in a location before Blue Barnes Road and Bruce Drive and before the truck enters the “Glenridge Road corridor.” Beyond these locations there are no opportunities for the driver to turn around, the officials say.
Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh also released a statement acknowledging the DOT: “has previously acknowledged the severity of this issue and took steps to try to mitigate future incidents from happening,” but adding: “it remains clear that more action is necessary.”
The Assemblywoman is joining Senator Tedisco’s calls for the Governor and DOT to review and support the solutions proposed by the Town of Glenville.
“Despite diligent efforts by the Town of Glenville, the number of bridge strikes that occur at the Glenridge Road overpass continues to rise.
While the NYS Department of Transportation has previously acknowledged the severity of this issue and took steps to try to mitigate future incidents from happening, it remains clear that more action is necessary. Supervisor Koetzle has demonstrated great commitment to working with the state to implement a cost-effective solution that addresses the public safety concerns for those passing through the heavily trafficked area between Glenville and Clifton Park.
Today, we are once again asking the Governor and DOT to review and support the plausible solutions that have been put forward by the Town of Glenville.”Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh
Recently, officials from the town of Glenville proposed using a system of fines, alongside new technologies, to prevent trucks from striking the bridge.
Raising the overpass does not seem to be an option. Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said in February that Canada Pacific Railway, who are responsible for the line, would have to spend millions raising the tracks over several miles in both directions.
According to Koetzle, lowering the road is not an option either as a stream running underneath it would cause flooding.
Both Tedisco and Walsh have previously called on the Governor and DOT to use funding from the state’s bridge strike prevention fund to add electronic adjustable message signs, bridge lighting, communication improvements to help local law enforcement redirect any potentially problematic vehicles, and an over-height detector similar to those that have been implemented in the Hudson Valley and Long Island.
You can view the letter Senator Tedisco and Assemblywoman Walsh sent to the Governor and DOT below: