Tuesday, July 17, 2001

2nd Taconic crossing closed

Stormville Road project leaves 4 to go on parkway

By Rasheed Oluwa
Poughkeepsie Journal
Spencer Ainsley/ Journal
Workers from Sun-Up Construction install temporary barriers Monday in the median where Stormville Road intersects the Taconic State Parkway in the Town of East Fishkill. Motorists traveling in both directions on the Taconic can now only make a right-hand turn onto Stormville Road.
To many people, 15 to 20 minutes out of a 24-hour day may not seem like much.

But that's how much time Hopewell Junction resident Dolly McEachin said she figures to lose each day when the state Department of Transportation finishes closing six Taconic State Parkway road crossings.

''I go through the Taconic all the time,'' said McEachin, who routinely travels back and forth to Beacon. ''There will be a lot of traffic going through the town.''

The Stormville Road median crossing on the parkway was closed to traffic Monday, the second of six closings planned for the Taconic this summer. DOT and local law officials said Monday's closing was uneventful.

The DOT decided to close the median -- effectively barring left-hand turns onto or off the Taconic -- after a fatal accident May 29, as well as due to the high volume of traffic at the intersections and potential danger for those attempting to cross the Taconic.

Officials said the closings are temporary. A special task force is working on long term solutions to safety issues concerning the Taconic.

Closings questioned

Andrew Kurth, a Town of Pleasant Valley resident who works for IBM in East Fishkill, said the closings would likely affect his daily commute to work.

He also questioned the DOT's decision to close the roads.

''I think it's silly. Maybe what they need is to give more information out to drivers,'' he said Monday.

Howard Schortz of Hopewell Junction agreed but said the closings were brought about because of accidents.

''Even though the closings are an inconvenience, I think it's necessary for safety reasons,'' he said.

Peter Idema, East Fishkill town supervisor, said he doesn't expect Monday's closing or the July 11 closing of Bogardus Lane to dramatically impact traffic.

However, Idema questioned the DOT's plan to close the Carpenter, Arthursburg and Hosner Mountain Road medians.

Idema said the town has hired a law firm as well as traffic and planning experts and is looking into ways to prevent the closures.

''We're not taking it personally, but we're going to do everything in our power to stop it,'' he said.

Under the DOT's plan, the Todd Hill Road and Arthursburg Road medians in LaGrange will be closed next week.

The final median closures at Carpenter and Hosner Mountain roads, also in East Fishkill, are set for mid- to late August.

'We're not taking it personally, but we're going to do everything in our power to stop it .'

Peter Idema

East Fishkill supervisor talking about the closing of parkway crossings