Interstate 86 will mean safety planning for Sullivan County


MONTICELLO – The long process of making the Route 17 Quickway ‘interstate ready’ inches along.  A key component is how county agencies, including EMS would respond to emergencies.
Sullivan County’s Public Safety Commissioner, Richard Martinkovic, told the county legislature on Thursday, it’s something the state police is already working on. 
“They’re looking at all the exits and they’re looking at how our traffic flows if we would have a situation where Route 17 would have to be closed,” Martinkovic said.  “And what do we do with the traffic, where do we park the tractor trailers, how do we make sure the people don’t get stranded and so forth.”
Martinkovic said the county is getting into the loop in planning strategy for emergencies on the highway, shutting down one or more lanes or fully closing stretch of the highway.  One option already being implemented in Broome and Delaware counties are practical ways to shut off access.  That includes, in some places, putting gates on entrance ramps. 
Martinkovic said that, and other options, are on the table.
“We will bring in folks like our [DPW] Commissioner McAndrew, Sheriff Schiff, and others as well as state police, our Troop F, and they’re going to talk with us as to how this will function and how we can safely provide good service and safety to the people.”
Another increasingly popular option is going airborne, using drones with cameras to assess situations.  In some places, that is already greatly shortening the time it takes to investigate serious accidents that can shut down a major highway for several hours.  Instead of police having to measure many distances by hand and foot with tape measures, aerial images can be quickly analyzed by computer.   

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