First responders from the Hudson Valley have been calling for this action for many years and it's "finally " happening. 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced an agreement for a new emergency access gate on I-84 in Orange County, following a fatal bus crash.

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The crash happened in September 2023 on I-84 in Orange County. 

Emergency officials believe they could have gotten to the accident sooner if a special access road for emergency vehicles, called a crash gate, was located near the scene.

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Governor Hochul Announces Finalized Agreement Allowing For Installation Of New Emergency Access Gate On I-84 In Orange County

This week, Gov. Hochul announced an agreement between the New York State DOT and the Town of Wawayanda to install an emergency access gate on I-84 in Orange County, near the site of the crash.

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“Since the terrible accident on Interstate 84, I have been laser-focused on working with our local and federal partners to approve the new emergency access gate and keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said. “This access gate will allow police, fire departments and other emergency service providers a faster, more direct way to reach Interstate 84 and save lives.”

Darren McGee- Office of Governor
Darren McGee- Office of Governor

New Gate Will Facilitate Speedier Emergency Response to Highway Incidents

The agreement calls for the state DOT to design and construct a new ramp from County Route 49 to the westbound Lane of Interstate 84. The gate aims to give emergency responders direct and faster access to the highway.

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“With this finalized agreement in hand, we are one step closer to finally installing this lifesaving crash gate on I-84 in Orange County. The tragic bus crash this past September, that killed and injured beloved members of the Farmingdale school community, was just one of many a horrific tragedies on Interstate 84 and plagued New Yorkers with fear about the ability of first responders to quickly respond to these dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Maintenance Agreement with the Town of Wawayanda Clears the Way for State Department of Transportation to Begin Construction This Spring

Construction is expected to begin this spring.

"Our heroic first responders have been calling for this crash gate for years– I’m proud that by working together with local, state and federal partners, we’re finally making strides towards delivering for them. I’ll keep fighting to bring home the resources our first responders need to keep Hudson Valley families safe," Representative Pat Ryan said.

Access to the eastbound side will be available via an existing turnaround near the access gate. The Town of Wawayanda will perform snow and ice removal and periodically inspect the gate to be sure it is secured. Only designated emergency service providers and maintenance equipment will be able to use the access gate.

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