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Aug 29, 2017 1:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Work Will Begin On Riverside Traffic Circle On Tuesday, September 5

Construction on the Riverside roundabout will begin on September 5th.  DANA SHAW
Aug 29, 2017 3:57 PM

The wait is almost over, or the nightmare is about to begin—depending on one’s perspective.

The long-awaited widening of the Riverside traffic circle, an estimated $5.25 million project that has been in the planning stages for years, is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 5, the day after Labor Day, according to Suffolk County officials.

By the time of its expected completion in December 2018, the work will transform the troublesome traffic circle—now often subject to backups, especially during the morning and evening rush hours—into a two-lane oval.

According to project supervisor Roger Baker of Pioneer Landscaping & Asphalt Paving Inc. in Kings Park, the work will be completed both during the day and in the overnight hours. He also noted that while there will be no closures, drivers will have to get accustomed to temporary lane shifts as the first phase of work calls for the laying of new asphalt so crews can begin ripping up the existing surface and install new storm drains.

“We will use temporary paving to increase the size of the roundabout, and then come back to do the subsurface work,” Suffolk County Department of Public Works Commissioner Gilbert Anderson said on Monday.

Set to begin this fall, the subsurface work calls for the installation of filtration systems that will treat rainwater before it flows toward nearby Peconic Bay, according to Mr. Anderson. He added that a single lane of traffic in the circle will remain open at all times during the installation.

Even though the work will coincide with the start of the new school year for many local districts, including the Riverhead School District, not everyone is concerned about the timing.

“It’s road work,” said new Riverhead Board of Education member Ron Fisher, the former president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association. “And they do road work all the time.”

Once the road work is finished, workers will install sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as plant new landscaping. Many in the community believe that a new two-lane traffic circle is critical to helping revitalize the hamlet of Riverside.

The current one-lane circle serves five feeder streets—Flanders Road, Nugent Drive and Riverleigh, Lake and Peconic avenues—and often fails to handle the high volume of traffic on those streets, resulting in frequent backups both in and when approaching the area.

Those in charge of the work said this week that they will do their best to keep vehicles moving in the construction zone, though Mr. Anderson warns that all road work causes some inconveniences.

“Like all construction, it’s intrusive and gets in people’s way,” he said. “But the sooner we get in and get this done, the sooner we get out.”

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Just like NY to take a nearly a decade to do something.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Aug 29, 17 6:50 PM