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Oct 26, 2018 3:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Ribbon Cutting Officially Marks Opening Of Riverside Traffic Circle

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and Vice President of FRNCA Sarah Huneault holding the scissors to cut the ribbon that officially opens the Riverside traffic circle. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Oct 30, 2018 9:51 AM

As cars zoomed by, lawmakers, community leaders and engineers cut a ceremonial ribbon on Friday to mark the official opening of the Riverside traffic circle.

The ribbon cutting symbolized the end of a $5.5 million project to expand and beautify the heavily trafficked circle, which now has more of an oval shape and a design that incorporates a second lane.

Notable guests and speakers included members of the State Senate, Suffolk County Legislature and Department of Public Works, Southampton Town Board, Riverhead Town Board, the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, or FRNCA, and the contractor Pioneer Paving Asphalt. The event took place outside on a vacant lot on the corner of Nugent Drive and Peconic Avenue.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was expected to attend and host the ceremony, as it was, after all, a county project, but he was not able to make it. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman instead took his place as emcee.

Mr. Schneiderman kicked off the ceremony by recognizing those in attendance and thanking everyone who was involved. “This is really a culmination of a tremendous amount of work,” he said.

“This project is a perfect example of people of every political stripe of every level of government, including our great supportive partners Fred Thiele and Ken LaValle at the state level,” Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, who helped get the necessary funding for the project, said at the event. “Every single one of these social components has been willing to talk and work out our differences, find ways to support each other and move an important community forward to continue to move in the direction of becoming a central economic hub for our region and Suffolk County.”

Mr. Schneiderman made the crowd laugh while introducing Bill Hillman, chief engineer of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works.

“Sometimes Bill refers to it as an ‘egg-about,’ because it’s shaped like an egg. I guess that’s the technical term—but having it be an egg, I sort of joked about it, because of the Big Duck,” Mr. Schneiderman said, referring to the duck-shaped building in Flanders. “We have the Big Duck right down the road, and now we’ve got this big egg, so maybe it’s related.”

FRNCA Vice President Sarah Huneault expressed her appreciation to those who supported her community’s efforts.

“Just looking around and being able to say that my community has come together and the officials have listened to us and being able to see the amazing work that has come from that is so encouraging for me and for my friends and people my age,” she said. “This is the future, and I’m so excited for it.”

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Oh, look. There’s Jay!
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 26, 18 9:14 PM
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