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Wiccopee Fire Company Borders I-84 but Must Travel Miles to Reach Nearest Interstate Entrance Ramps

Funding Will Install Emergency Access Ramp

Funding Is Part Of House And Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Passed By House Last Week And Senate Over The Weekend

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Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that both houses of Congress have passed the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill which includes $974,000 for the East Fishkill Fire District's Wiccopee Fire Company for installation of an emergency access point from Townsend Rd. to Interstate 84, which is less than 50 feet away. The funding was included in the Department of Transportation and Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.   During the appropriations process, Schumer requested that the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee include funding for this project in the final appropriations bill, and fought hard to ensure that it was included.  

Senator Schumer visited Wiccopee Fire Company in November 2008 and saw firsthand that the company sits adjacent to I84 but is forced to travel miles to reach the nearest interstate entrance ramps, causing risky delays in their response times. During his visit, Schumer announced that he would work to secure federal funds for the project.

"We have been fighting to secure this emergency access point for a long time, and we have finally succeeded," said Schumer. "The absence of an emergency access road at the Wiccopee Fire Company was threatening lives by slowing down response times but this new access road will enable our fire fighters to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently."

The East Fishkill Fire District's primary response route from Shenandoah Road to Lime Kiln Road is 1.5 miles long and takes about three minutes to reach the interstate. Their secondary response routes are from Townsend Rd to Hosner Mountain Rd to Route 52 to Taconic State Parkway South is a 3.5 mile route that takes six minutes.  Another secondary route uses Shenandoah Road to Miller Hill Road to Taconic State Parkway North to I84, which is four miles and takes about six minutes. The local fire district and Schumer's office are currently working with the New York State Department of Transportation on its application for emergency access. These dollars provide the ability to construct the access road once the application process has been completed.  

The emergency breakthrough access road will dramatically cut the Wiccopee Fire Company response times. The company will finally be able to respond efficiently and effectively to the over 90 annual accidents on Interstate 84, which it borders by a mere chain link fence.  

The appropriation was originally included in the Senate FY 2010 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. Last week that bill was combined with 5 other appropriations bill into the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill.  The omnibus bill passed the House last week and the Senate over the weekend.