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Input sought on Riverside Maritime Trail

Southampton Town officials are seeking the community’s input on what features should be included in the initial design phase of the proposed Riverside Maritime Trail Park.

The first round of that input will be sought at Monday’s meeting of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, which starts at 7 p.m. in the David Crohan Community Center in Flanders.

“This is a chance for the community to weigh in and give their ideas and visions to the consultants to help them design what’s appropriate for this area,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said in a press release.

The Riverside Maritime Trail Park and Wetland Restoration project is planned for 14 acres of Suffolk County Park property located south of the Peconic River in Riverside. 

Araiys Design of Southampton, the landscape architects hired by the Town, will meet with community members to review possible design features to be incorporated into the park.

At one point several years ago, the plan was to have the trail stretch from Flanders Road north to the Peconic River, and to have a pedestrian bridge going over the river into Riverhead Town.

The bridge part of the plan has since been put on the back burner due to its cost, but the trail is moving forward. 

A boardwalk along the Peconic River was actually the most “liked” idea among residents who were surveyed as part of the Riverside Revitalization Action Plan in 2015. 

“We are ecstatic to be moving this 14-acre park project forward,” said FRNCA president Ron Fisher in an interview. “We look forward to getting access to the water in Riverside.” 

Araiys Design will return to the Crohan Center at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 with a rough draft of what the ideas received at the Sept. 10 meeting look like.

At that point in the process, the community will have further input into the final design phase.  

The architects will then present their plan to the Town Board in a work session scheduled for Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Crohan Center, at which point 90 percent of the design phase is expected to be completed. 

Town Board members and members of the community will still get a chance to further tweak some of the ideas before the final plan is approved.

Once it is completed, the project will be bid out prior to construction beginning.

The town and FRNCA have already received grant money to offset the cost of the design work and are seeking additional state grant money to offset the cost of whatever plan is ultimately chosen. 

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Photo caption: The location of the proposed Riverside Maritime Trail Park from the Riverhead side of the river. (Tim Gannon photo)