HYDE PARK, N,Y. -- The newly renovated Crum Elbow Road in Hyde Park has reopened to traffic and has been dedicated as the Claudio Coppola Memorial Highway, in the memory of a local teenager who died in a single-car accident on the road in 2012.
On Saturday, Dutchess County and local officials, project workers, and community members gathered along the roadway with the family of Coppola to remember and honor the life of the Hyde Park teenager.
“I thank our DPW Engineering Division team, contractor partners and the County Legislature for working together to make needed safety improvements to this highly trafficked roadway, said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. "We join with the Coppola family in remembering and honoring the life of Claudio. While his life was cut far too short, his spirit lives on forever in the hearts and minds of all who knew him. The Coppola family represents how our community can come together even in times of great sorrow to help others in need."
Reconstruction began in the spring and involved several enhancements to improve roadway safety and minimize seasonal flooding. As part of the reconstruction, the road was raised slightly, drainage systems were replaced, shoulders were expanded, and new guide rails, pavement, signs, striping and a stabilized highway embankment under the road were installed.
Claudio’s parents, Luigi and Lisa Coppola, said: “We are grateful to the county for making this road reconstruction project a priority to ensure other tragedies can be prevented and safety for motorists is kept paramount. The Claudio Coppola Memorial Highway will forever serve as a reminder of Claudio’s spirit and love for life.”
Crum Elbow Road averages about 8,100 vehicles per day.