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Dec 20, 2011 5:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Contractor Finishes Work On Flanders Traffic Circle

Dec 21, 2011 10:14 AM

It is smooth sailing once again for those drivers who endured two months of detours and road closures as crews completed work on a new traffic circle in Flanders.

Earlier this week, Suffolk County opened all lanes of the new traffic circle, constructed at the northern end of Old Riverhead Road, where it intersects County Road 104, to motorists, according to James Peterman, the chief deputy commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. He added that only a “punch list” of items remain to be completed.

“There will be no more detours or closures,” Mr. Peterman said on Monday.

He explained that crews will still be painting lines and cleaning up debris, but that no additional delays or detours are anticipated. “The project was on time and on budget,” he added.

Ground was broken on the $1.1 million project in August, and Pratt Brothers Inc. of Bay Shore was contracted by the county to install the traffic circle. Last month, Greg Ferraro, the project manager with Pratt Brothers, said the work was proceeding as scheduled.

During the two months of construction, drivers were subjected to a number of detours as the stretch of Old Riverhead Road between Sunrise Highway and the traffic circle was closed. Crews, at times, also closed an estimated 300-yard-long section of County Road 104, also called Quogue-Riverhead Road, in both directions from the new traffic circle south toward Quogue. As a result, drivers were forced to seek alternate routes to and from Riverhead.

The county decided to install a traffic circle at the intersection to help reduce the number of high-speed car accidents that have occurred there in recent years. Mr. Ferraro said studies revealed that it would be too costly to run electrical lines to the intersection and install a traffic light there.

“This slows everyone down at the merge point,” Mr. Peterman said. “We’re hoping to make it a safer intersection. It should be a much better situation there now.”

Twenty-two car accidents, including 10 with injuries, were reported at the intersection between 2005 and 2008, according to Southampton Town Police records. Traffic studies conducted at the intersection have indicated that the two roads have between 20 and 24 potential spots that car accidents are likely to occur—a high figure, according to police.

Bill Hillman, the chief engineer of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, said the new traffic circle should help to prevent tragedies. “When there were accidents there, they were horrific because of the high speeds,” he said.

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Nice Job- should be an improvement but whoever engineered the circle- way to narrow. Better then nothing though.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Dec 21, 11 2:37 PM
nice job was there this morning keep up good work
By exsupt@gmail.com (1), southampton on Dec 21, 11 2:52 PM
Works very well. My compliments to the Pratt Brothers for doing a great job at what once was a dangerous left turn coming from Westhampton Beach.
By decoflair (4), westhampton on Dec 22, 11 5:05 AM
Personally many feel this new circle is a acccident looking to happen. At night this area is so dark and in the middle of no where. as it has been. Those not familiar with this area and cruising 50 miles plus an hour in the dark will find this new designed area very confusing and hitting a lot of cement. Why was their not light reflextors installed in the cement to help guide around ? Why did it need changes ? My feelings. No one wants to S T O P at stop signs. Did you ever almost ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Dec 22, 11 6:18 AM
Couldn't agree more with Carol. The simple solution would have been to luminate with even a single pole lamp to make the circle visible at night to those unfamiliar with the design.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Dec 24, 11 8:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Better lighting would be a plus. Maybe a flashing light prior to the circle to slow cars down?
By baywave (22), Westhampton Beach on Dec 24, 11 6:04 PM
That is a Area I go through every day
Although the circle was a good idea it is the WORST design ever!,, Way too narrow , the approach from 104 leads you right into a walkway, no lights too help see it. I wonder how tractor trailers will be able to navigate it it seems like it would be pretty difficult.
By Hamptons777 (10), East Quogue on Jan 1, 12 10:04 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Hamptons777 (10), East Quogue on Jan 1, 12 10:05 AM