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Dec 11, 2012 9:49 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Intersections Getting Upgrade With State Funding

Jan 2, 2013 9:30 AM

Some of the historic corners of Southampton Village are getting a face-lift, thanks to a state traffic calming grant that the village was awarded in October.

By spring, intersections along Main Street—at Jagger Lane, Nugent Street and Hampton Road, as well as at intersections along North Sea Road—will have new pedestrian crossing signs, new traffic signals, new pavement and brick accents, and 
upgraded drains, according to Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley. The improvements are meant to alleviate damage caused by heavy traffic and insufficient drainage, and to make pedestrian street crossings safer.

While the project is being completed, the construction is adding a little difficulty for drivers in the village—and even for Vic Finalborgo and Vince 
Catena, owners of Catena’s Market on Main Street and Jagger Lane, whose building was cracked due to construction on the corner.

The traffic calming construction officially began on October 1, but sat dormant awhile, until just two weeks ago, according to the mayor. “It was prep work,” he said of the initial construction. “The project had to be started by October 1 to get funding for the grant.”

The state awarded the $437,000 grant in addition to a $421,000 grant for the Safe Routes to School program, which is meant to improve pedestrian safety around Southampton Elementary School by adding curb bump-outs and crosswalk countdown timers. Because the traffic calming and Safe Routes to School improvements both covered the intersection of Main Street and Hampton Road, village officials were able to lower the costs for both by asking the construction companies to work together.

After the corners’ pavement was ripped up and barrels were put up around the new construction zones, the village’s Department of Public Works needed to go through the bidding process, order new pedestrian crossing signals, and begin contract negotiations.

The traffic calming project, headed up by Norman Kurrass Contractor Inc. of East Patchogue, would have cost the village $600,089, but because of the $437,000 grant, the village will need to pay just $162,178 out of its public works budget.

After the traffic signals are replaced and the new pedestrian crossing signs are installed, the stretch of concrete around the corners will be repaved in the spring when the asphalt companies start producing again. Mayor Epley said he is a bit frustrated that the project 
hasn’t been completed yet, but major construction should be completed in January. “The worst part of it is potential inclement weather and how that impacts [the finish date],” he said.

Mr. Catena and Mr. Finalborgo, the owners of Catena’s Market, which shares a building with Raymond D. Leahy Opticians, had a tiny issue with construction at their corner, which was quickly and easily resolved, according to Mr. Catena. During some heavy demolition work, a crack formed in the building’s Jagger Lane facade. Worried that water could get into the crack, freeze and then pop the bricks out, they contacted the village and worked with the contractor to make sure the building’s foundation was sound. Fortunately, no substantial damage was done.

Mayor Epley said he hopes the village and work crews can minimize disruption as construction continues.

So far, the Safe Routes to School improvements, which will cost the village $155,000 after the grant, have been well-received by the Southampton School District. In addition to installing new crosswalk signals and repaving the sidewalks, Corazzini Asphalt Inc. transformed Pine Street into a one-way street so parents can drop off their students in a safer manner.

“It has been great to see the Safe Routes to School project progress from the drawing board to reality,” said School Superintendent Dr. J. Richard Boyes. “There is a smoother, less-congested flow of traffic. That, together with improved sidewalks, signage and signals, contributes to a safer school environment.”

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The Pine Street work has resulted in a totally confusing and unsafe traffic pattern that makes accessing parking behind Main Street difficult. The fact that Pine Street is half one-way and half two-way traffic is a disaster waiting to happen. I think the entire traffic plan for this area is just plain wrong and has made the
school drop off and pick-up perhaps more dangerous than in the past. Getting a federal grant for something that is so poorly designed is just a waste of taxpayers money. ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Dec 20, 12 10:41 AM