Errant truck on Southern jams traffic

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Traffic was at a standstill on the westbound Southern State Parkway for nearly two hours Friday morning after a tractor trailer illegally drove onto the road in Lakeview, police said.

State police said the tractor trailer entered the parkway just before 5 a.m. -- and was cleared from the road at about 6:50 a.m. The westbound roadway was closed at Exit 18, Hempstead Lake State Park/Eagle Avenue during that time, causing a traffic back-up stretching east to Exit 22.

The big rig didn't hit anything, police said.

Trucks and other commercial vehicles are not allowed on parkways on Long Island.

However, a recent Newsday cover story chronicled the ongoing battle to keep errant tractor-trailers and other trucks from entering those roads, with statistics showing that trucks strike parkway bridges dozens of times a year -- costing taxpayers about $7 million in repairs and maintenance during the past five years alone.

There were about 50 bridge strikes on Long Island in 2010 and 2011 and the New York State Department of Transportation said more than a dozen truck incursions occur on local parkways each month, disrupting traffic and causing delays.

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