Land swap involved in Suffolk’s $4M traffic plan for Riverside

Riverleigh Avenue intersects with the Riverside traffic circle on Flanders Road. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)
Riverleigh Avenue intersects with the circle on Flanders Road. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has finalized a $4 million conceptual design plan to improve the flow of traffic at the Riverside circle.

And it involves a town-county land swap.

Department of Public Works chief engineer, Bill Hillman, told Southampton Town officials last week that the new traffic plan calls for a two-lane “oval” roundabout to replace the current circle.

An oval roundabout has different approach angles from a circle that require drivers to slow down when approaching.

The plan doesn’t call for removal of any of the five “legs” that currently feed into the roundabout, but it does call for removing about 3,000 square feet of the town park where Tire Craft used to be, on the northwest corner.

In exchange, the town will get about 4,000 square feet of county land near the walkway that connects Grangebel Park to Nugent Drive/Route 24.

Because the town land is a park, the switch will require approval from the state, Mr. Hillman said. The estimated cost of the project is about $4 million, he said.

The town park is just a grass lawn and is rarely used by people, said Southampton Councilman Brad Bender, who was president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association before being elected to the Town Board last fall.

The news out of Suffolk County come on the heels of Southampton Town inking a deal with a master developer for the area, and issuing a request for proposals for engineering and planning companies to design a proposed pedestrian bridge over the Peconic River.

FRNCA leaders have played an integral role in jumpstarting redevelopment efforts in the area.

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