04/17/13 3:39pm
04/17/2013 3:39 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO |  The opening for Weeping Willow Park on West Main Street has been delayed by vandals.

Vandals driving vehicles on sod at the former Weeping Willow motel site have delayed the opening of the new park Riverhead Town built at the West Main Street location.

Drew Dillingham, assistant town engineer, said vehicles have been leaving Route 25 and driving on the sod to vandalize it.

“We are going to be installing guard rails along both sides of the driveway and along the Route 25 right of way, so that people can’t leave the road and then drive on the sod,” he said.

The vandalism started a couple months ago, he said.

“They’ve done it at least twice that we know of, and it’s caused some pretty bad ruts that we fixed,” he said.

The town is waiting for the buildings and grounds department to install the guard rails, which shouldn’t take more than two days, Mr. Dillingham said.

Unfortunately, “they are super, super busy,” he said.

Once the guard rail is installed, the new park should be ready to open.

The park will feature two picnic tables and an area to launch kayaks and canoes, along with a driveway made of recycled concrete aggregate.

The Weeping Willow Motel had sat on the roughly half-acre site for 58 years until the town demolished it in 2011, after purchasing the property in 2009 for $1.25 million with the goal of turning it into a riverfront park and boat-launch area.

The demolition was delayed because the dilapidated motel had asbestos which needed to be removed first, officials said.

Riverhead Town purchased the motel site using money from the Community Preservation Fund, which comes from a voter-approved two-percent real estate transfer tax.

The town also received a $500,000 state Environmental Protection Fund grant for the project in 2007.

tgannon@timesreview.com

Weeping Willow Motel, Riverhead Town

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Workers removed asbestos from the Weeping Willow motel in March.

09/08/12 11:00am
09/08/2012 11:00 AM
Weeping Willow Motel, Riverhead Town

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Workers removed asbestos from the motel in March.

The Riverhead Town Board is seeking bids on the Weeping Willow park improvement project.

The construction project calls for the development of parking, boat access and walkways along the Peconic River, where the Weeping Willow Motel used to be.

The town acquired the 53-year-old West Main Street motel in 2009 for $1.25 million.

The motel was demolished last year, following an asbestos removal project, so that the .45-acre site could be used for a park.

The town purchased the land with Community Preservation Fund money, which comes from a voter-approved 2 percent real estate transfer tax and can only be used for open space and farmland preservation projects.

In addition, the town received a $500,000 state parks grant for the project.

The deadline for bids on the project is Oct. 4 at 4 p.m.

tgannon@timesreview.com