Sen. Ball: I-84 closure “doing more harm than help”

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A state senator from Putnam County said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to shut down Interstate 84 is “doing more harm than help.”

Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, issued a statement Wednesday raising concern about the decision to close the highway from the Pennsylvania to Connecticut borders, which was announced this morning as heavy snowfall continued to hit much of New York.

“I thank the Governor for his proactive, hands on approach to many issues but the constant closure of Interstate 84 is doing more harm than help,” Ball said in the statement. “We are witnessing tractor trailers forced onto back roads and emergency personnel like doctors and nurses unable to get to their jobs.”

I-84 in New York dips through Dutchess and Putnam counties.

It’s the second time Cuomo has made the call to proactively shut down the highway because of snow. In early January, the state shuttered parts of I-84, Interstate-87 and the Long Island Expressway ahead of a snowstorm.

Here’s Ball’s full statement:

“I thank the Governor for his proactive, hands on approach to many issues but the constant closure of Interstate 84 is doing more harm than help. We are witnessing tractor trailers forced onto back roads and emergency personnel like doctors and nurses unable to get to their jobs. New Yorkers can smartly handle snow without completely shutting down a major thoroughfare every time Mother Nature drops some white stuff on our heads. Our work crews are awesome and capable of keeping up with all but the worst if situations. Lets find and support them properly and allow them to do their jobs. Shutting down the interstate between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut border forces travelers to take more dangerous back roads. This is now the second time in two months that we have shut down the interstate. While I understand shutting down the road in extreme weather conditions for public safety and to allow road crews to do their work, we need to find a commonsense alternative to this drastic option. I commend all the state and local road crews who have been doing a wonderful job. However, lets not paralyze our state every time we have snowstorm.”

(Photo via ball4ny.com)

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