MINEOLA N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Work is expected to be complete later this month on four of ten planned emergency pull-off areas on the Long Island Expressway.
Crews are busy widening the pull-off areas by 10 feet, to make them 125 feet wide.
A state Department of Transportation spokeswoman told Newsday that the sites from west of Exit 35 to Exit 39 are meant for cops to conduct traffic stops and drivers who face emergencies.
Two of the pull-off areas are on either side of the L.I.E. near the Glen Cove Road overpass. Another pull-off is along the eastbound lanes, just west of the Shelter Rock Road bridge. The final pull-off to be finished this month is along the westbound lanes near the New Hyde Park Road overpass, according to Newsday.
The four pull-off areas have all been paved and reflective signs are being put up to alert drivers that they are approaching a “police enforcement emergency pull-off area,” Newsday reported.
DOT officials are just waiting for the lighting to be installed.
The $450,000 project was approved after the death of Nassau County highway patrolman Michael Califano. The 44-year-old father of three was killed in during a routine traffic stop in 2011 along a poorly lit stretch of highway when a passing truck smashed into his cruiser.
The roadway improvements came after Sen. Charles Schumer pushed for a safety audit of the L.I.E. Other improvements include the installation of highly reflective signs to replace the old lit ones, new flexible rubber markers along the center median and roadside guide rails and rumble strips at on-ramps and exits to alert drivers if they start to drift off the road.
A DOT spokesperson said the widening of the remaining six pull-off areas will be complete by the end of the year. There will be five emergency pull-offs in each direction when the project is finished.
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