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Over-Height Detection System Installed in NYC

November 8, 2016

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Photo: NY.gov
Photo: NY.gov

The installation of a $4.8 million over-height vehicle detection system has been completed on two New York City parkways, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

Using infrared to identify and alert over-height vehicles illegally using the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx and the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the system can prevent vehicles from striking low-clearance bridges.

The system was installed at four locations on the Hutchinson River Parkway and one on the Grand Central Parkway.

"This groundbreaking technology will improve traffic safety, enhance mobility, prevent delays and protect our highway infrastructure," said Gov. Cuomo. "These roadways are key parts of New York City’s transportation system and these improvements will make them for more convenient, reliable and safer for all."

The city bans large commercial vehicles from driving on parkways in New York City. The parkways were built in the 1930s and 1940s and were designed for automobiles of the era with bridge clearances as low as seven feet.

The detection systems were developed by the N.Y. Department of Transportation and are part of the state’s effort to keep commercial vehicles off parkways and improve roadway safety. Using infrared beams, the system identifies over-height vehicles and captures its movements on video. The system then posts an alert message for the driver on an electronic message sign, enabling the driver to leave the highway before coming to a bridge.

The data and video are also sent to the Department of Transportation’s Joint Traffic Management Center so that police can assist in getting a truck safely off the roadway, or mobilize quickly if an accident occurs.

“The damage from over-height vehicles striking our bridges is not only accidents and traffic delays, but repair costs for the State of New York,” said Jeff Klein, a N.Y. state senator. “These detectors will keep our bridges and roads safer and keep traffic moving, all the while ensuring that our infrastructure is structurally sound.”

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