Town installs guardrail after repeated residential crashes

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Kristin Thorne reports on a new guardrail installed at a residential site with repeated crashes on Long Island.

Rich Lopez has become accustomed to something very strange -- cars crashing through his backyard fence and destroying his property.

"It's a safety issue for my family and for drivers in general," Lopez said.

Lopez's backyard sits along busy Old Willets Path in Hauppauge. He said drivers have crashed through his fence in 2013, in February and just about a week ago.

He said thankfully, in all three cases, the drivers' insurance plans covered the cost of the damage. Lopez is worried though about what happens if he isn't home when the accidents occur.

"Then I got to go on my homeowner's," he said.

Lopez reached out to the town of Smithtown to install a guardrail along the road. The town did a study and found a guardrail should be installed.

"In the geometry of the roadway, you have a curve there, and there is some speeding out there. We checked the accident history on the state accident system, and it looks that there's one to two accidents there a year, so it definitely warrants a guardrail," said Mitch Crowley, the director of traffic safety for the town of Smithtown.

Crowley said the town plans to replace about 150 feet of residents' wooden fences along Old Willets Path with the metal guardrail, which could cost anywhere from $30,000-$40,000. It should be installed in a few weeks.

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