Rockland community members, lawmakers call on Thruway Authority to put up sound barriers

Residents in southern Rockland County are demanding the state build sound barriers along a stretch of the New York State Thruway to stop the never-ending noise penetrating their communities.
A meeting was held Thursday night where community members aired their concerns.
People said they want to know why Central and West Nyack have been left exposed to noise pollution when neighboring communities are protected.
Ed Cunningham, a 40-year West Nyack resident, lives just feet from the Thruway. He says he never gets a break from the noise.
"You cannot sit out here on a Saturday, you cannot sit out here in the daytime, you can't have a picnic, you can't have company. People have pools they can't use because of the sound that comes from there," he says.
He's not alone.
Cunningham was one of many residents calling on the state to do a sound study and eventually build a sound barrier along the Thruway in Central and West Nyack.
But the community has hit a stalemate with the state.
A spokesperson for the Thruway Authority says the state only conducts sound studies during highway expansion projects and none are currently planned for this area so there's nothing they can do.
Clarkstown Town Councilman Donald Franchino says he has a plan, hoping it will lead to a Thruway project, and eventually a sound study.
He is pushing for FEMA to address flooding concerns on that same section of the highway.
"The roadway has to come up, new piping has to go in, and the water will flow, and never flood again," says Franchino.
Some residents have said they oppose the barrier over environmental and financial concerns.
Officials said they will not stop fighting for this until the issue is resolved.