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Jul 9, 2012 5:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Preparation For Road Widening Project On County Road 39 To Begin Shortly

Jul 11, 2012 10:08 AM

Motorists on County Road 39 who have noticed several new signs posted between Southampton Village and Water Mill announcing an upcoming road project can rest a little easier: The project will soon be under way, but it is intended only to get the road ready for a larger road widening project this fall, and is not expected to cause a great deal of havoc on the already overtaxed roadway during the height of the summer season.

Construction workers will begin preparing a 1.5-mile eastbound stretch of shoulder on County Road 39, between North Sea Road and Montauk Highway, this month for a road-widening project slated to begin in earnest after Labor Day, according to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

Pending state approval, construction work will take place 10 hours per day, Monday through Thursday. The project on the side of the road will last about a month.

While traffic jams are a main concern among motorists, especially in the middle of the summer season, Mr. Schneiderman said the project was “nothing to stop traffic,” and work won’t be done on the weekends.

“There will be some delays, but I hope it’s not too inconvenient,” he said. “This is going to help traffic flow in the long term. It’ll be a minor inconvenience.”

Crews will prepare the railroad crossing for an additional eastbound lane, as well as configure drainage and utilities, add a sidewalk, and remove trees, he said.

Mr. Schneiderman said he doesn’t suspect there will be a lane closing during this month’s project. “There will always be one lane in each direction,” he said. “It might be slightly narrower, and they may shift the lanes over.”

Further details of the project were sketchy, but Mr. Schneiderman said it needs to be completed now in order to receive federal funding for the widening. “It’s unfortunate, but the timing really has to do with when the state approves the project and the federal requirements are met,” he said.

The road widening project was originally expected to begin in the fall of 2010 and had been delayed more than a year while Suffolk County awaited approval from the State Department of Transportation. Now, the county must “work around traffic or lose funds,” Mr. Schneiderman said.

The actual road work is intended to add a second eastbound lane on the 1.5-mile stretch of County Road 39, starting at the intersection of North Sea Road, where two lanes bottleneck, and extending to the merge with Montauk Highway. According to Mr. Schneiderman, the road widening project is expected to cost approximately $5 million.

“I think this will help with eastbound traffic,” he said. “One day, I would like to see two lanes in both directions, but we don’t have the funds available right now.”

Mr. Schneiderman also said that the county would have to use eminent domain to seize roadside property from private owners if a second westbound lane were to be added.

“What is nice about the project—the [lane] is being built to federal standards,” he said. “The rest of the road is built to state standards, which is different in terms of road lane width and sidewalks. Hopefully, this will provide the basis for one day fixing 39 to the same standards.”

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Mind-blowing IMO for ANY road work to begin in the summer!

This work was to start in the fall of 2010 according to the article, well over a year ago.

Will we really "lose funds" if this work does not start for two months? Please advise on the details.

What a tangled web we weave, Jay! Are you up for election soon, by any chance?

PS -- Until 27 is widened at Water MIll, it does not matter where the bottleneck is. Is our government blind to the physical reality ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 9, 12 6:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
My understanding is that the project will cost approximately $5.7 million dollars. Our tax dollars hard at work.
By rv (38), watermill on Jul 9, 12 6:21 PM
I dont get this project .The real problem is that un necessary traffic light in watermill it holds up both directions FOR NO REASON!!! Wake up 10 minutes earlier and take the back way hipocrits
By baymen (26), hamptonbays on Jul 9, 12 10:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
Actually, we are at a point of NO RETURN~~~ We cannot support the increased
traffic both environmentally and locally -- taking the back roads creates safety
issues!!! We have to decide "Do we want to maintain our rural communities"??
You decide!
By East Ender (64), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 5:04 AM
Spot on with the observation about the Water Mill light. It only benefits shop owners. What is widening 39 suppose to accomplish pray tell. Just a bigger parking lot when traffic is heavy.
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 10:18 AM
They can't leave less than one lane open during construction than the one lane we already have. Widening the roads have helped everyone's quality of life out here. The old don't build it and they won't come was a traffic nightmare decision for many locals. Do you remember the two lane merge at lobster Inn or the traffic so thick you couldn't make a left onto 39 from North Sea Road?As of right now I try not to use any business east of Southampton because of traffic. Two lanes out to East Hampton ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 1:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Now we know that this is only for the businesses per comment above!!! I would
have appreciated a supportive comment such as, we find this more intrusive
within our communities and the traffic this year seems to be more volume on all major and interior roads!!!! Sounds as if with a " blink of an eye", we will become
western Suffolk County (no offense) just an observation!!!
By East Ender (64), Southampton on Jul 10, 12 7:32 PM
Is anyone in charge here in Rome while the fires are burning brighter as time goes on?

So many misguided steps leading us all to the fire pit IMO.

Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle!
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jul 10, 12 7:59 PM
wider roads, more traffic lights,bigger art nauseaums, home depots, mcdonalds, more condos, more massive mini malls, sweet / the future is sweet .. a few cheesy strip joints & should look just Myrtle BEach in no time
By david h (405), southampton on Jul 11, 12 11:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
You forgot the mini golf and t-shirt places
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Jul 13, 12 3:37 PM
Thank heaven for the lack of funds that prevents Jay and others from building two lanes in each direction. Mets fan says up above that keeping one lane each way was bad for locals, but locals know how to get around it. The ones who are inconvenienced are the up-island trade parade people who don't know the back roads.

These are the businesses who'll benefit from a wider road, but they'll have to change their business model, because david h is right in saying we'll look like Myrtle Beach ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jul 12, 12 10:28 AM
Forget that area of CR 39 and widen the back roads instead. There are traffic jams on back roads in Water Mill, especially Head of Pond, Lower Seven Ponds, North sea Mecox Rd. Even in winter there are traffic jams on those roads from 2:45 pm until 5:30 pm.

By btdt (449), water mill on Jul 12, 12 11:35 AM
I remember when that shopping mall on 27 in Water Mill was proposed. The developer pretended he was going to put in something like 200 shops. The village and town then pretended that it was a great thing when the developer "scaled back" and proposed fewer shops. Then they did a pretend environmental impact study which concluded that the shopping mall would not adversely impact traffic in the area, and that a traffic light would not be needed. Thank goodness we have such geniuses in public office ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Jul 12, 12 11:39 AM
hey btdt 63 Don't use it!!!!!!!!!!!!
By exsupt (3), southampton on Jul 12, 12 1:23 PM
Traffic through Water Mill has backed up Montauk Hwy since before the light was put in! Does it hurt traffic now? Yes. However, people merging from Little Cobb Rd and Old Mill Rd (cops could write tickets there all morning as people roll right through the STOP sign) also add a lot to the backup.

Widening CR 39 up to the intersection with Montauk Hwy will do nothing to help traffic. All it will do is push the backup further east. Heading west, the lights at David Whites Lane and North ...more
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Jul 13, 12 1:44 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jul 13, 12 4:44 PM
I think they should close up the Little Cobb Road entrance at rush hours,just like they did on Sebonac Road. The itsamazing obviously never had to sit in any type of morning commute. East ender now that you are here maybe you can prohibit anyone else from coming out here after you. Well they came and now we are dealing with it. If you are so unhappy, buy a few houses,tear'em down and become a farmer. How many farmers are left on the South Fork? That's right just a few. We are not going to stay a ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jul 17, 12 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Jul 17, 12 7:15 PM
Unless they do it all the way to east hampton it's really usesless
5.7 mill for a mile and a half? AHAHAHAHAHA So glad my house sold
Adios Amigos!!
By Kaiser Sozay (31), east end on Jul 19, 12 12:42 AM
What a disgrace.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jul 19, 12 8:57 AM