State invests in Southold roundabout project

Road improvements for both Southold and Riverhead towns are in the works as part of a $27-million investment from the Department of Transportation in Suffolk and Nassau counties, according to Governor Kathy Hochul.

“Infrastructure is the foundation for everything that drives the Long Island economy – from the East End to the New York City border,” Gov. Hochul said in a press release. “These investments will make for smoother, safer rides for residents and visitors on the go, and build our legacy of ensuring Long Island’s roadways remain safe for all.”

In Southold, the intersection of State Route 25 and County Route 48 will be reconstructed. The existing “T” will become a roundabout, “which will help traffic continuously move in a smooth pattern and reduce congestion to and from the historic Village of Greenport and the Cross Sound Ferry at Orient Point,” according to the governor’s office.

There will also be pedestrian accommodations including sidewalk ramps and reflective advisory signs for motorists, all compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Department of Transportation has been transparent with their plans and even shared preliminary drawings, according to Southold Highway Superintendent Dan Goodwin.

“They have kept us involved in where they’re at with their design process, pretty much the same way that they’ve kept the public involved along the way,” he said.

In Riverhead, new left turning lanes in each direction are planned for the intersection of State Route 25 and Edwards Avenue.

While Riverhead Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski is glad the DOT is “doing the necessary repairs to State Route 25 and Edwards [Ave],” he said there is still more work to be done.

“I would like them to pave state road 25, the entirety of it, not just work at the intersection of Edwards and [Route] 25,” Mr. Zaleski said. “I’ve been advocating for the state to hopefully pave from Splish Splash to 25A on State Road 25. I think that road needs improvements.”

Preliminary work such as surveying and tree clearing has begun, the press release stated. Major construction is expected to start this summer and be completed this fall. The reconstruction of these intersections will total $10.9 million. The project will also create 350 jobs during construction and cover several East End intersections that are “known local chokepoints.”

Local officials including State Senator Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk), Assembly member Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor), and Assembly member Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) all commended Gov. Hochul and the Department of Transportation for this initiative.

“I applaud the Governor for her attention to these critical investments in our district and this is good news for local residents who, during the busy tourist season, face gridlocked roads throughout the East End,” Sen. Palumbo said.

“Roads are the physical foundation of Long Island’s economy, and this investment in our roads will provide safer, better transportation for us all. While many of our roads are in disrepair, the DOT’s efforts in prioritizing those with the greatest need is commendable, and a good beginning to what I know will be continued efforts towards rebuilding or replacing our aging infrastructure,” Ms. Giglio said.

These are “critical infrastructure projects on the East End,” Mr. Thiele said. “The construction of a roundabout at the intersection of NY25 and CR48 is a creative solution to reduce traffic congestion at a critical intersection in Greenport,” he said. “My thanks to Governor Hochul and the DOT for their efforts to expedite these projects.” 

Mr. Goodwin said it’s encouraging to see tax dollars coming back towards highway related investment in the area.

“I’m just hoping that some of our representatives up in Albany help us out with following this lead and help to get us some additional funding for even our road paving programs and some safety improvements on some of our local roads,” he said. “The vast portion of our resurfacing budget actually comes in the form of state aid so it’s encouraging to see some of that state money flowing back into our local towns.”