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State Sen. Greg Ball Criticizes Cuomo For Closing I-84

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BREWESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A state senator says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a little too quick to shut down Interstate 84 when nasty weather strikes.

State officials closed I-84 to all traffic between Pennsylvania and Connecticut for about six hours Wednesday.

Sen. Greg Ball (R-Brewester) issued a statement in response calling for a “commonsense alternative to this drastic option.” I-84 passes through Ball’s district, which includes Putnam County and parts of Westchester.

In early January, the state also shut down a section of I-84 ahead of a snowstorm.

“As a senator from a district hit by that, when you shut down 84, maybe you do it for a little bit of time, but you really have to keep your nose to the grindstone and listen to the people because we’re forcing people off of 84, including tractor-trailers, onto local roads,” Ball told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot and Steve Scott. “It’s creating a real problem for our local highway crews and our local officials, and we have emergency responders — including volunteers, nurses, doctors — they can’t get to work.”

LINKS: Traffic | Weather

“I have highway chiefs calling me all the time saying, ‘What the hell’s the governor doing?'” he added.

In announcing Wednesday’s I-84 closure, Cuomo said in a statement: “As this winter storm progresses, safety continues to be our top priority. The State is closing I-84 as a precaution to protect drivers as this storm moves across the state.”

Many cars slid off the highway, crashed and wound up in ditches in the pre-dawn hours, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

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