First responder: Hospital Road overpass project will help emergency vehicle response

There are five other bridges over the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County where work is also being done.

Thema Ponton

May 17, 2023, 9:48 PM

Updated 404 days ago

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A first responder says a construction project to modernize the Hospital Road overpass that crosses over Sunrise Highway will make it easier for emergency vehicles to get to where they need to go quicker.
North Patchogue Fire District Commissioner Jack Blaum says the new overpass cannot come soon enough. He says his father, who was a longtime commissioner, started the project in the early 1990s and never got a chance to see the construction get started.
"We're kind of excited about it, it's going to make a big difference for everybody in the community," Blaum says.
According to the state, workers are replacing the existing structure, which was built in 1959, with a more modern and wider crossing. It will have sidewalks in each direction and 12-foot-wide shoulders for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Blaum says the wider overpass means that emergency vehicles going or coming from either Long Island Community Hospital, or the fire station will be able to get to their locations sooner.
"One, you'll have additional lanes, so that will reduce volume at any one time on the bridge, but the other part now is vehicles will have a place to move to, if there was an emergency vehicle heading either north or southbound," Blaum says.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said the work on the East Patchogue overpass is expected to be finished by the end of the year. They say it is expected to cost $22.9 million and is about halfway done
In an effort to ease the traffic backups because of the construction, both directions of the bridge have remained open since the work started in 2022. It still, however, is a construction zone, which means drivers need to slow down or face paying a hefty fine.
There are five other bridges over the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County where work is also being done.


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