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HOV toll lane on Southern State Parkway could fund drastic improvements to notoriously dangerous roadway

What could improve safety on the Southern State Parkway?
What could improve safety on the Southern State Parkway? 02:03

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. -- The results of a new study on a dangerous stretch of the Southern State Parkway are in and researchers say there's a way to drastically improve safety. 

The Southern State Parkway is a notoriously dangerous 26-mile road through Long Island. Ten of its miles are known as "Blood Alley" for treacherous turns, short ramps, sharp exits and merges, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Friday. 

"Friends, they actually got into a car accident and they died on the Southern State. They were on one of the curves and completely drove off the road. All four of them died," said Noreen Khan. 

There are 4,000 crashes and multiple deaths a year on the winding road that was conceived in 1927 to improve beach access for automobiles traveling 35 mph. It once had toll booths. 

AAA has called the Southern State Parkway the poster child of bad roads in the state that pre-date modern engineering. 

"We see a portion of the highway that's called 'Blood Alley.' We see countless gravesite memorials. It is possible for us to look at ways to redesign Southern State and we have to be creative," said New York State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages. 

Solages is studying a public-private partnership. Instead of taxpayer dollars, the Long Island Contractors' Association suggests adding a new lane to defray the costs of a $1 billion-plus rebuild. 

"It's similar to the HOV lane on the [Long Island Expressway]," said Marc Herbst from the Long Island Contractors' Association. "However, it's gauged by the amount of traffic and if you want to enter it, you have to pay a toll." 

A recent study shows success with high-occupancy toll lanes helping pay for road reconstruction in nine other congested parts of the country.

"It's a viable financing model that can be used to help accelerate the development of a large transportation project," said Joshua Hurwitz from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. 

"We would like some real, good reconstructive ideas in order to make it safer," said Sonia DePass-Nembherd, of Valley Stream. 

DePass-Nembherd said the Southern State's dangers only get attention after each deadly crash, then the spotlight fades. 

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