Public hearing Thursday on Roanoke Avenue resurfacing

Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Suffolk County’s plan to resurface 1.3 miles of Roanoke Avenue, from Main Street to the Route 58 traffic circle, will be the subject of a public meeting Thursday night in Riverhead.

The meeting will be held at the first floor conference room in the Cornell Cooperative Extension building on 423 Griffing Avenue, and it will run from 6-8 p.m., according to North Fork county legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue).

Engineers from the county Department of Public Works will be present to answer questions and take input, and the proposed plans for Roanoke Avenue — also known as County Road 73 — will be available for review, he said.

“The final design isn’t complete yet,” Mr. Krupski said. “They want to have a meeting, get input from the public, and then do the final design and put it out to bid.”

The project has an estimated cost of $4.6 million is is expected to start in late 2015 or early 2016, Mr. Krupski said.

The main purpose of the project is to rehabilitate the existing pavement, drainage systems, curbs and sidewalks on the road, Mr. Krupski said.

The DPW is proposing to reduce the travel lanes to 11 feet wide and make the road shoulder four-feet wide and the sidewalks five feet wide, which would be in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

The sidewalks also would be in compliance with ADA requirements for slopes, ramps and warnings at intersections, according to DPW.

“They want to try and maximize pedestrian safety,” Mr. Krupski said. Making the travel lanes narrower and the shoulders and sidewalks wider is a form of “traffic calming,” he said.

The project also proposed removing trees that cause sidewalk damage and replacing them with “street-friendly” ones, replacing curbs that have deteriorated, and rehabilitating or replacing existing drainage systems to prevent rainwater from being channeled into Merritts Pond, as it is done now, according to Mr. Krupski.

Another issue officials are seeking input on is what to do about emergency services vehicles on Roanoke Avenue when the road work is being done, Mr. Krupski said.

In addition to the Riverhead Fire Department, which has its headquarters on Roanoke Avenue, the road also is used by numerous ambulances from outside the town that are headed for Peconic Bay Medical Center.

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