RIVERHEAD, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) – Suffolk County is installing steel cable barriers on two of its highway medians in an effort to prevent deadly crossover crashes.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Suffolk County

The barriers are being erected on the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway.

“Since last November we’ve had about 23 wrong-way drivers and crossover incidents and crashes that have resulted in fatalities, so I applaud their decision to do this right away,” Sen. Charles Fuschillo said.

The first phase of the project will cover 11 miles of each roadway. On the LIE, it will stretch from exits 64 to 70 and on Sunrise from exits 53 to 59.

The state Department of Transportation says work on the LIE will be completed this fall and on Sunrise by the end of the year.

By 2015, the barriers will extend into the Town of Riverhead on the LIE and into the Town of Southampton on Sunrise.

“This should be throughout the entire state of New York,” Fuschillo said. “It should be made a priority in next year’s funding program.”

Truck driver Jim Gardner says they’re badly needed.

“It’s a good idea. It’s safe and it makes perfect sense,” he told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

Since 2002, seven people have been killed in crossover accidents and twenty have been injured.

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