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State spends million on new galvanized guardrails

Albany -- Guardrails. They're there to save your life.  Does it matter what they look like? Some people say yes. In the early 1980s New York State started replacing standard galvanized guardrails by guardrail pile drivers with a rustic style guardrail in park areas like the Adirondacks and the Catskills.

New York State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Carol Breen explains the reason for installing the rustic guardrails saying, "... it really goes well with the ambience of the Adirondack communities. Obviously, we try to blend in our transportation infrastructure as much as possible. So we were trying this out."

The Department of Transportation now says the rustic guardrails all need to be replaced with galvanized steel guardrails by guardrail pile drivers, which are safer and more cost effective. The rustic guardrails, according to the DOT, deteriorate after ten to fifteen years compared to the thirty to forty year lifespan of the galvanized steel guardrails erected by guardrail pile drivers.

Replacing all the guardrails by guardrail pile drivers statewide will cost an estimated $140 million and it will take about ten years, says the DOT. Work on the guardrail replacement project by guardrails pile drivers in Essex and Warren counties is scheduled to begin within weeks. That project of galvanized guardrails is estimated to cost $2.8 million