Part of a $2 million reconstruction of Long Lane, County Road 59, in East Hampton has begun.
Crews have been working to replace an existing recharge basin and pipes with a new network of interconnected basins underground, an effort to stop flooding on the road when it rains.
According to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, the project will better facilitate the flow of water that pours in when it rains.
“The basins are interconnected, so rather than having one function on its own, there will be giant concrete pipes connected one to the other, and as one fills, others start filling up,” he said.
He said this part of the project would last all summer while school is out. The road, which sits between Stephen Hand’s Path and the East Hampton Village line, is where East Hampton High School is located. Fortunately, Mr. Schneiderman said the road will not be completely closed to traffic, although it may only have one lane open while construction goes on. He said the road isn’t heavily used in the summer anyway, and that there are easy options for bypassing Long Lane.
“The county does drainage really well,” he said. “They’re really good at it, and when they’re done, there won’t be any flooding over there.”
Larry Penny, the former East Hampton Town natural resources director, said this week that he was concerned about the dirt the county crews are digging up. He said when he was with the town, they had been testing soil that had gotten into the recharge basin at that location and found a high level of lead and arsenic, stemming from years of farming there.
When asked what will be done with that soil, Mr. Schneiderman said he didn’t know but, that the project was vetted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and he said he was hopeful that if there were anything of concern it would have been caught before the project went forward.
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works did not return a phone call on Tuesday for more information about the project.