Drivers reported traffic delays in Southampton Village Thursday morning as cars were diverted off of North Sea Road for paving work.
The road is expected to be paved in sections through the remainder of the project, which is planned to take two more days, village officials said.
The work is primarily being completed in the earlier portion of the day and at night, but scheduling is being controlled by union regulations for Southampton Village employees.
North Sea Road is one of several roads in Southampton Village that is being repaved this month—during the height of the summer season—after the village received unexpected aid from the State Department of Transportation.
Last week, the village received word that the municipality was eligible for roughly $460,000 in Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, or CHIPS, money from the state DOT for any shovel-ready projects the village could orchestrate, according to Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley. “This was our opportunity for improvements,” he said. “That is why it was kind of very immediate.”
As part of the project, North Sea Road from West Prospect Street to Aldrich Lane, Hillcrest Avenue and Miller Road will be ground down before being repaved. The area was selected, Mr. Epley said, because of potholes and road damage stemming from almost constant plowing and freezing this winter.
The money, which had to be used by Thursday, August 7, is not uncommon, the mayor said, noting that the village receives CHIPS money approximately every other year. The CHIPS program was first established by the New York State Legislature in 1981, according to the DOT website, and is designed to help municipalities carry out highway and infrastructure projects.
According to the DOT, the municipality is responsible for paying the initial costs of the project. Funding information is then submitted to the state, which creates a schedule for reimbursing the money to the municipality.
According to Mr. Epley, construction will take place both during the day and at night, with a majority of the North Sea Road work taking place in the mornings to minimize traffic impact. Brief road closures are expected, and work is scheduled to continue through August 15.
This week, Mr. Epley said although the village would not normally have chosen the middle of August for the repairs, the municipality was notified of the funding only last week and had to act quickly. After considering other projects, the village decided the paving work is necessary, and that by using the CHIPS money, it will save taxpayer dollars.
“It would be hard to say no to $460,000,” he said.