Thruway Authority responds to storm criticism

Posted at 5:46 PM, Dec 02, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-27 17:46:52-05

During the Snowvember snowstorm, a 132-mile stretch of the NYS Thruway was closed from the Pennsylvania state line to Exit 46 in Rochester. More than 150 cars were stranded along that stretch, some for more than three days.

So what went wrong? And how can it be fixed?

"I'm not particularly happy with the outcome, with what occurred. So I have a lot of questions as to what went right, and what went wrong," Donna Luh of the Thruway Authority Board said Tuesday.

MORE | The Thruway Authority will hold public hearings on this issue

"The Thruway was in fact better than it was in the past, but there were still cars stranded and we need to do better to make sure that during these unprecedented storms in our community, that we have the most effective implementation of protecting the public that we could possibly have," State Senator Tim Kennedy said.

To protect drivers like David Carr, a Washington D.C. businessman who was stuck near the Lackawanna toll barrier for more than 36 hours.

"We could have all been sitting at a Sheets or at a Pilot Gas Plaza or something like that as opposed to stranded on the road," Carr said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo originally defended the Thruway Authority's decision of when to close the highway, which was after the storm had already started and there were drivers on it.

7 Eyewitness News asked Donna Luh if the highway should have been closed earlier. She said, "I think if you look at it now, of course I say yes. But again these are all questions that we will meet and be able to ask the people who are responsible for what went on."

How Snowvember was handled will be discussed at the next regularly scheduled board meeting of the Thruway Authority, which will take place on December 15th.