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Jun 24, 2014 5:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Legislature Approves Riverside Land Swap

Jun 24, 2014 5:25 PM

The State Legislature recently passed legislation that should pave the way for the widening of the Riverside traffic circle, possibly as early as 2016.

State lawmakers have agreed to allow Suffolk County to swap a piece of property that it owns in Riverside with a parcel currently owned by Southampton Town. The swap required state approval because the county's lot is parkland, according to officials in State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.'s office.

At this point, Governor Andrew Cuomo still needs to sign off on the swap, and Southampton Town officials must agree to the deal as well.

If approved, the town will gain land on County Road 94 that measures about one-sixth of an acre. In return, the county will take ownership of parcel about half that size that sits on the northwest corner of the traffic circle.

Mr. Thiele noted that the town might not approve the swap until November.

Calls placed to Southampton Town Hall were not immediately returned on Tuesday.

As part of his three-year $433.6 million capital budget, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone set aside $4 million for the widening and reconfiguring of the traffic circle, as well as $2 million in future sewer funding that will go to the ongoing revitalization of the hamlet of Riverside.

The plan, as it now stands, is to replace the current circle with an oval-shaped, two-land roundabout replete with sidewalks and crosswalks.

“In an effort to increase the efficiency of the circle, reduce congestion and improve the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works conducted a thorough and extensive investigation of the traffic circle corridor and evaluated over twenty possible alternatives,” Mr. Thiele said in a prepared statement.

He also noted that swapping the two properties was determined to be the best way to ensure that the project could be completed by 2016.

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