Updated 05/03/2012 03:06 PM
Safety Barriers Go Up As Bronx Family Holds Wake For Crash Victims
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Safety improvements are being made on the Bronx River Parkway just days after a crash that killed seven family members.
The State Department of Transportation on Wednesday began installing concrete barriers along the viaducts crossing the Bronx Zoo, East Tremont Avenue, and the Amtrak tracks.
The speed limit will be lowered to 35 miles an hour while the barriers are being put in place.
New signs and lane lines are also being placed along the stretch.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz says it's a step in the right direction.
"While this family is still grieving, at least they can know that in the future, there will be less of a likelihood that this will ever happen," Diaz said. "So there's temporary repairs here, but we're going to continue to work with the DOT."
Transportation officials say the so-called Jersey barriers are a response to growing public concern following Sunday's accident. Last year, another car flew off the parkway.
Both occupants survived.
AAA Spokesman Robert Sinclair says the barriers, which are about four feet high and made of solid concrete, might prevent another tragedy.
"The Jersey barrier will serve as a barrier between the curb and a catapulting vehicle, a vehicle that might strike that curb and get airborne as a result. And certainly that design of barriers has proven effective at doing that," Sinclair noted.
People who drive on, and walk around, the parkway's overpasses say they're happy to see something being done based on their own experiences.
"The bumps on the street cause a lot of accidents over there," said one driver.
"I have a daughter and it's scary. I cross that bridge all the time with my family," said one pedestrian.
"At least it will give some sort of protection in case something like that happens again. It won't actually careen over, maybe lives will be saved," said another pedestrian.
The installation of barriers comes as the Gonzalez family is preparing to say goodbye to their loved ones.
A second day of wakes was held Thursday at the Parkchester Funeral Home.
A funeral is set for Friday morning.
Meanwhile, Fordham University has set up a relief fund on behalf of the victims' families, as Gonzalez and Nunez were employees in the university's custodial services department.
For more information on the fund for the victims' families, call Fordham's Office of the President at 1-718-817-3000.