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Is A New York Construction Zone A Recipe For Repeated Disaster?

Two fatal auto accidents that occurred less than two weeks apart happened on the same 59th Street Bridge exit ramp, in the exact same spot, at the same time of day, crashing into the exact two storefronts. Both vehicles were even the same make – a Volkswagen. Both drivers were speeding.

In the first accident, the motorist failed to make a sharp right turn and careened off the exit ramp striking a pedestrian. The pedestrian died from serious head injuries; the driver severed his arm. In the second accident, the driver also lost his arm.

The eeriness of these similar accidents has many questioning the sharp turn at the end of this exit ramp. Three off-ramps running side by side, deposited vehicles from the bridge onto a road that runs parallel to the bridge. In January, one of those lanes was blocked by concrete barriers as par t of reconfiguring the road to increase pedestrian safety. The barrier forces drivers to navigate a much sharper angle while merging into traffic. Area business owners say the renovation has caused unintentional chaos because now the ramp is much harder for drivers to see. They also say that the sharper angle seems to direct cars closer than usual to their stores.

In early March, the DOT installed orange traffic barrels in the center of the intersection to help divert the merging traffic into separate lanes. Following these two fatalities, they have added signs at the bridge exit ramps to remind drivers of the 30 mile per hour speed limit. The city also plans to install rumble strips along the off-ramp. The DOT said they are making safety a priority. Motorists can help by slowing down and applying extra caution in construction zones.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries or loss. After an auto accident, you may also be faced with physical, emotional, and financial hardship. Medical bills and other expenses may be piling up. You may be unable to work due to injuries sustained. What can you do to make ends meet?

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