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East Main Street getting new traffic light near aquarium

Downtown Riverhead is receiving a new traffic signal at the intersection of East Main Street and Ostrander Avenue. 

The light was required by the New York State Department of Transportation as a result of the new hotel and restaurant being constructed at the northwest corner of that intersection, according to Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

The DOT is also putting in new handicapped ramps at the intersection and will begin painting those ramps this week, according to DOT spokesman Stephen Canzoneri. Once the repainting is complete, the new traffic lights we be activated in blinking mode for 10 days before they become fully activated with red, yellow and green lights, he added. The DOT does this to familiarize drivers with the new traffic signal, he said,

Developer Joe Petrocelli is restoring the 112-year-old Preston House into a restaurant, while also building a five-story, 20-room hotel behind it. Mr. Petrocelli said those projects are nearing completion.

Just this past week, Mr. Petrocelli said he would buy and restore the Howell House, which also is 112 years old and is adjacent to the Preston House.

During the public hearings on the Preston House/hotel project in the fall of 2016, Eric Russo, the attorney for Mr. Petrocelli, said they initially considered three other options: the traffic signal, a crossing signal pedestrians can activate by pushing a button, and making a portion of Ostrander Avenue one-way.

The town currently has a crossing guard at that intersection during hours when the Long Island Aquarium is open.

Downtown Riverhead also has traffic signals at the Main Street intersections with Maple Avenue, Roanoke Avenue, Griffing Avenue, Osborn Avenue and Court Street.

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