Work crews shut down the northbound lane of Flanders Road in Hampton Bays on Friday morning from the Sunrise Highway ramp north past Bellows Pond Road, the first part of a seven-mile, $5.2 million paving project that will resurface the road from Hampton Bays to the traffic circle in Riverside.
As of Friday morning, cars and trucks heading northbound on Flanders Road were diverted to the southbound lane, while those traveling south had to drive along the shoulder and bike lane during the first step of the project, which is now expected to stop when the weather gets too cold and resume in the spring.
According to a press release sent out this week by the State Department of Transportation, the four-mile section between Birch Avenue in Flanders and Old Riverhead Road in Hampton Bays should be repaved before the winter begins. Crews will continue to repave the northbound side of Flanders Road before turning back and paving the southbound lane, the release stated.
The northern part of the highway, from Birch Avenue to the Riverside traffic circle, will be repaved starting in the spring, according to the DOT.
Commuters can expect delays while the work is ongoing, from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. weekdays as the weather permits. Eileen Peters, a representative for the DOT, said on Monday that the agency does not expect any lane closures, though she is recommending that drivers avoid that stretch of Flanders Road if possible during the repaving work.
Flanders Road is one of a dozen roads across Long Island scheduled to be repaved this fall. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo set aside $100 million for 12 highways that were categorized as roads that were the most heavily damaged from storms last winter. The project, part of the governor’s Driver’s First initiative, will repave more than 300 miles of highways across Long Island, according to an earlier release issued by the DOT.
In August, the DOT announced that it would soon install a pair of traffic signals along Flanders Road—one at the intersection of Long Neck Boulevard and another at Oak Avenue in Flanders. Those signal locations were based on studies showing where the greatest number of drivers now attempt to enter and exit Flanders Road.
DOT officials previously estimated that the signals could be installed by this fall as well; however, a representative from the state agency this week did not know whether that project would begin during the resurfacing work.
As part of the work, DOT crews will also be repairing and upgrading the curbing and wheelchair ramps in the spring of 2016. There are now sidewalks on both sides of the highway from the traffic circle south to Old Quogue Road. From there, sidewalks continue on the south side of the street to Chauncey Road. On the north side, a sidewalk begins again at Pleasure Drive and runs east until ending just before Fanning Road.
A representative from the DOT said workers will repair and add new curb ramps in order to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The DOT does not know how much that work will cost or how many curb ramps need to be installed. There are no plans to install additional sidewalks, however.