NYS Thruway Authority Promising Significant Changes On The I- 90 This Winter

December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 9:37 AM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 9:37 AM EDT

Cheektowaga, NY (WKBW)- A year ago Thursday, a huge lake effect snow storm swept across Western New York and brought the New York State Thruway to a stand-still. The snow caused an enormous traffic jam and left hundreds of drivers trapped in their cars.

Some motorists reported being stuck for close to 24 hours. This winter, officials with the New York State Thruway Authority are promising change. The authority says its spent the last 12 months collaborating with local agencies and state police on what went wrong and how to fix it. Crews have installed move able barriers on the I-90 to help re-direct traffic during a storm and added emergency gates along ramps on the I-190 and I-90. Local agencies will also have control of shutting down the thruway and redirecting traffic, instead of getting the green light from Albany.

"I think last year we really weren't pro-active, but we've changed a great deal," said Donna Luh, Vice Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority. "We've learned to be more proactive. There's always going to be snowstorms and accidents but planning,acting quicker, and having plans in place is going to make the difference."