For Immediate Release: 12/14/22
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | firstname.lastname@example.org
THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF NEW U-TURN ON I-95 IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY THAT WILL REDUCE TRAVEL TIME FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
New Emergency Services U-Turn is Located Near Exit 17 in Mamaroneck
Authority Worked Closely With Elected Officials and Fire Department on Timing and Location
The New York State Thruway Authority today announced the completion of a new U-turn near exit 17 on the New England Thruway (I-95) in Westchester County that will make it easier for the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department and other first responders to reach emergencies more quickly. The U-turn provides fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles, a safer area to access and cross the highway, and offers a wider turning radius. After hearing from state and local leaders along with fire officials, the Authority accelerated construction by using its own in-house construction crews to open the U-turn this year. Maintenance crews from the Authority’s New York Division constructed the U-turn this fall, demonstrating a cost-effective approach to this project. The Authority’s Albany and Buffalo divisions sent specially trained personnel and equipment to assist with the effort.
“We all know that every minute counts in an emergency,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “This easier-to-access U-turn will save valuable time for firefighters responding to a car fire on the highway or house fire in a local neighborhood. Thruway Authority staff worked in close partnership with state and local leaders, including the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department, to make this new connection a reality. Though small in scale, this project will enormously benefit our motorists and town residents for decades.”
The new U-turn is located approximately 600 feet south of another U-turn near exit 17 (Larchmont - Chatsworth Avenue). During heavy traffic, fire trucks have historically experienced difficulty crossing the three southbound lanes to access the U-turn to respond to incidents on northbound I-95. In those instances, emergency vehicles have to travel more than two miles to the next exit, leave the highway and then re-enter I-95 in the northbound direction, adding up to 10 minutes to their response time.
Restricted to emergency and Thruway vehicles, the new U-turn is far more convenient to access and was built wider to better accommodate the large turning radius of fire trucks. There is also more room for emergency vehicles, such as State Police cars and ambulances, to accelerate and decelerate when entering and exiting the U-turn.
Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am so pleased with the completion of the new U-turn on I-95 in Mamaroneck, which has been so important for the Town of Mamaroneck and its fire department. This important priority for the Town of Mamaroneck and the Mamaroneck Fire Department will make it easier and safer for the Town of Mamaroneck’s Fire Department and other first responders to reach emergencies more quickly. Thank you to the Thruway Authority and my colleague Assemblyman Steve Otis for working with the Town of Mamaroneck flexibly and creatively to safely accelerate the construction and completion of this important project.”
Assemblyman Steve Otis said, “The Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department is often the first emergency responder to accidents on I-95 that are within their jurisdiction. To safely reach accidents on northbound lanes, emergency vehicles need additional distance between the Larchmont southbound entrance and the median turnaround in order to quickly access northbound accidents. The completion of the turnaround has been a priority for the Town government and the TMFD. Expedited completion of the relocated turnaround was made possible through the tremendous support of Thruway Authority Executive Director Matt Driscoll and staff. Senator Mayer and I worked closely with the Thruway Authority and the Town on this project. Town Supervisor Jaine Elkind Eney, TMFD Chief Shaun Hughes and past Chief Joe Russo deserve special recognition for their leadership and advocacy in identifying the need and the solution.”
Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Jaine Elkind Eney said, “I am thrilled that the NYS Thruway Authority, working with State Senator Shelley Mayer, State Assemblyman Steve Otis, my office and the TMFD, was able to accelerate the completion of the new U-turn near Exit 17 on the New York State Thruway. This newly relocated U-turn, requested by our Fire Department, will provide our firetrucks and other emergency vehicles a safer location to access and cross I-95 while helping them reach emergencies more quickly. Our First Responders’ safety is of paramount importance as they keep us safe each and every day. We are grateful to everyone who recognized the significance of this much-needed project and saw it through to swift completion.”
Mamaroneck Fire Department Chief Shaun Hughes said, “The completion of the new U-turn will help ensure the safety of firefighters and emergency personnel responding to incidents on I-95 by giving us a safer access to cross the highway. We appreciate the response from our elected officials and New York State Thruway Authority, and the speed at which the project was completed.”
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here.