A 15-mile construction project on Route 27 from East Hampton to Montauk is scheduled to begin early next week to repair the deteriorating road after last year’s exceptionally harsh winter, New York State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Eileen Peters said on Tuesday.
The $13.8 million project includes a “priority section” of about 1,500 feet through the Amagansett shopping district, she said. Although the work was supposed to be done solely at night, the DOT is hoping to also do work during the day to complete it faster.
“We had ID’d 3.5 miles of road that we’re hoping to work on before the winter,” Ms. Peters said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “The engineer in charge is trying to meet with business owners along that business district in Amagansett to get their input to basically see if it’s OK with them. If it’s not, we’d stop before the business district and pick the project up immediately after it.”
The road, said Ms. Peters, will not be closed in either direction, but rather traffic will be routed onto the shoulder, thus temporarily eliminating on-street parking.
“The biggest inconvenience to businesses will be the lack of street parking,” she said. “Things will move a little slower, but if there’s parking off the street or in the back of stores, businesses should be able to carry on as usual.”
Ms. Peters said if the department receives approval from the businesses that would potentially be affected, the construction work would be completed over the course of five days. Work would be undertaken on Tuesdays through Thursdays for that particular area, while the rest of the construction will take place Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Although some people may not believe it, we really do our best,” she said. “We know it’s disruptive and, for these businesses, they need their parking. It’s their livelihood. But we also know its beneficial for people,” she said of newly-paved roads.
Mary Schoenlein, the owner of Mary’s Marvelous, which has a location on Main Street in Amagansett, said she had not heard of the project prior to being contacted by the press.
“I don’t like that idea at all as a business owner,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s hard to say without having the specific details, but this is a hard time of year for us now, and we need the traffic. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t affect us.”
Alda Stipanov, a manager at Astro Pizza, said the restaurant may even consider closing for a few days, depending on the extent of the work.
“I don’t really know what to say since this is the first I’m hearing of it,” she said by phone. “Hopefully they’ll tell us what they’re planning on doing instead of us waiting around.”
But Ms. Stipanov said the roads outside her business are in “desperate need” of repaving. “It would definitely affect us, but the roads are really bad,” she said.
Ms. Peters said the engineers for the project are working with the Amagansett Chamber of Commerce to post a letter on the chamber’s website, alerting businesses to the work and soliciting their input in terms of timing.
“We’re hoping to have their feedback by early next week,” she said. “They’re going to start active construction in the other areas next week and they’d need to know the closer the operations get towards the business district at that point. They’ll either keep going through the village [Amagansett’s Main Street] or they’ll stop and pick up work from the other side.”
As of press time, the letter had not been posted, but Ms. Peters said business owners or those interested should periodically check the site for updates.