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In East Hampton, Road Projects Aplenty Ahead of Memorial Day

Fri, 05/24/2024 - 13:26
As the busy season begins, there are signs everywhere of projects underway in and around East Hampton Village roads thanks to outside agencies including National Grid and the Suffolk County Water Authority.
Durell Godfrey

In the leadup to Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Department of Transportation, the Suffolk County Water Authority, and National Grid have been in the midst of a handful of projects affecting traffic in and around the heart of East Hampton Village. 

While David Collins, the superintendent of public works for the village, says crews aren't scheduled to work this weekend, remnants of the work is visible up and down Main Street and surrounding roads.

Most notably is work being done by the Department of Transportation on a drainage project that began in Wainscott in September. While the work is largely complete in the village's business district, and no parking spots have been affected, it continues east towards Town Hall.

"We've been waiting for them to get to this project for five years," said Mr. Collins. "They abandoned the old catch basins, which have been in place since the 1930s. They're putting in new curbs and installing new, larger catch basins."

Perhaps more concerning is a gargantuan pothole located at the intersection of Main Street and Newtown Lane, which Mr. Collins attributes to a National Grid project. The gas company recently installed a new gas main, to which it has been connecting nearby businesses and residents. "I've made multiple calls. It's so big cars have been swerving around it and it's a traffic hazard. They apparently don't think it's bad enough, because they haven't responded to it."

Wendy Frigeria, a spokeswoman for National Grid, offered a statement on Friday afternoon. "We have a crew scheduled to repair the roadway today; we apologize for any inconvenience. We appreciate the communityís patience as this important work to upgrade the network is underway. Work will be completed within the next few weeks followed by restoration." She said all work was being coordianted with the state Department of Transportation.

Once everyone is tied into the new gas main, the old main will be abandoned and left under the roadway, which was also an irritation for Mr. Collins. "It's one more thing to dig around in the future," he said.

Another new main, this time a water main, was also installed by the Suffolk County Water Authority extending from Sherrill Road all the way to North Main Street. The firehouse was connected to it this week. "Then that big storm came and filled the hole with water. They have to wait for that to dry out so they can complete the work. In the meantime, for the weekend, they have steel plates covering the hole. They've been working on the tie-ins to the main for the last month."

The rain also delayed a village project, approved by the village board last year, to install a new sidewalk by the "sheepfold," the triangular green bordered by Pantigo Road, Gay Lane, and Egypt Lane.

"We had planned to complete it by spring, but the five inches of rain we received in the last month put a stop to that," Mr. Collins said. He added that the village was doing everything it could to protect the roots of nearby trees before the new sidewalk was laid down. Work on that project will continue next week.

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