CORTLANDT, N.Y. – The Cortlandt Town Board is circulating a petition lobbying the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to install safety barriers on the Bear Mountain State Parkway. The state-owned road has been the site of several serious accidents in recent months.
“The reason we have to go to exercise of petition is because the state DOT, up to this moment has said, ‘No.’ We’re hoping to convince them otherwise,” said Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, about state response to installing medians or barriers between the two lanes. The town approved several resolutions requesting safety measures be put in place.
The high-speed winding stretch of road known locally as the Bear Mountain Extension runs from a stoplight at Route 9 and Annsville Circle to Route 35 and 202. The road was destined for a $60 million barrier and median project in 2012, until the project was re-imagined after the economic crash of 2008 to be substantially smaller and not take place until 2017, according to the NYSDOT.
“It was because of the recession,” said Spokesperson Sue Stepp, about the capital investment budget cut.
“Right now our main thrust is to preserve the infrastructure that we have, that’s where we’re spending the majority of our money, because we have to,” Stepp said. “A job of that scope is just too large for us to put in our current program.”
Stepp also said the NYSDOT received a 35 percent cut in federal aid, but was unable to confirm the dollar amount before Tuesday evening.
Copies of the petition will be available at the Cortlandt Town Hall, at the town clerk’s office. Town hall is located at 1 Heady St., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.