Two state legislators seeking reelection next month are promising that Main Street in Hampton Bays will be repaved by next spring—and possibly as early as this fall.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth LaValle made the announcement during Monday night’s “Meet the Candidates” event sponsored by the Hampton Bays Civic Association. That is when they announced that they have secured $600,000 in state funds for the repaving of a nearly two-mile stretch of Montauk Highway running through the heart of the Hampton Bays business district, between Flanders Road and the Shinnecock Canal.
Mr. Thiele, an Independence Party member, and Mr. LaValle, a Republican, both have challengers on the ballot in the November election, but none of the challengers is running an active campaign against the incumbents.
The heavily trafficked road’s shoddy appearance has frustrated Hampton Bays residents and business owners for years, with those hoping to revitalize the hamlet often referring to the repaving work as a necessity.
Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce President Dorothy “Dot” Capuano said earlier this week that this is not the first time repaving has been promised to the community, but she is hopeful that it will happen this time. She added that she feels it would be a major benefit to the business community.
“We’ve been told that the road is going to be repaved several times over the years and it’s never happened,” Ms. Capuano said, referring to the road that is supposed to be maintained by Suffolk County. “Hopefully, this time we’ll see it come to fruition.”
Mr. Thiele said the money for this project will come from the State Department of Transportation’s Multi-Modal Program fund, which is designed to pay for capital projects to repair rails, ports, fixed ferry facilities, airports, as well as state or local highways and bridges. The state will give the money to the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, which will then hire a contractor to mill down the old asphalt and replace it.
The possibility of attaining state funds was first introduced more than 10 months ago, Mr. Thiele said, when he and Mr. LaValle held a meeting with community members, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and then-Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi.
“We finally worked through all the paperwork,” Mr. Thiele said. “Now that we have the money, we’re trying to see if we can get the project done by the end of the year.”
State and county officials are working to get the repaving taken care of in the coming weeks, before it becomes too cold to lay asphalt, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said. Mr. Thiele estimates that the project will take about two weeks to complete.
The DOT hasn’t released the Multi-Modal funds yet. But Mr. Schneiderman said while his counterparts in Albany work to expedite that process, he is looking to see if money set aside for other county projects that won’t be completed this year could be reallocated to repave Main Street in Hampton Bays. If this happens, the state funds will be used to reimburse the county once they are released.
Mr. Schneiderman said he and the county have received many requests to repave Main Street in recent years but pointed out that, despite the road’s appearance, it is structurally sound and poses no safety risk. Therefore, it remains a low priority for the county.
The longtime legislator from Montauk also noted that while he is doing everything he can to get the road paved this fall, delaying the work until April would not be a terrible thing.
“The advantage of doing it in the springtime is that the new road wouldn’t have to be plowed over all winter,” he said. “It would be really fresh when the [summer] season started. However, the assemblyman feels very strongly that it should be done in the fall and I’m trying to honor that promise that was made to the community.”