In preparation for Amtrak’s repair work, dubbed the “Summer of Hell” that was scheduled to begin on Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will open all lanes and suspend all non-emergency construction on major roadways in New York City.
According to Cuomo, construction will be halted between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. This change, along with the addition of cashless tolling, is intended to clear out major arteries and assist the Long Island Railroad’s service.
“Amtrak’s emergency repairs at Penn Station will have a ripple effect across the entire transportation system,” Cuomo said. “As New Yorkers adjust their plans, we are doing everything possible to ease the burden on commuters and travelers. By suspending construction and implementing critical roadwork changes, we are taking action to ensure New Yorkers can get where they need to go as quickly and easily as possible.”
The New York State Department is also planning to pre-deploy highway maintenance staff and tow trucks in predetermined areas. In addition, Como announced a number of other changes that will take effect on Sunday night:
- All daytime conflicting non-emergency maintenance and construction work will be suspended;
- Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., truck tolls will be reduced by half Sunday night to Friday morning on all tunnels and bridges operated by the MTA;
- Pre-deploying equipment and highway maintenance staff in predetermined locations in order to accelerate projects needed to keep traffic flowing;
- Strict enforcement of HOV lanes;
- Looking at the timing of traffic signals in major thoroughfares with possible adjustments if they are found to be necessary;
- Launching a new incident portal to provide information about possible service disruption and alternate options for commuters;
- Adding new message signs to provide additional information to commuters;
- Increasing the number of trucks tasked with providing roadside assistance and increasing the hours of operation of the Highway Emergency Local Patrol (HELP) program on major highways.