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Southampton Town plans catwalk overlooking Reeves Bay

The Southampton Town Board voted Tuesday to hire an engineering firm for professional services associated with a proposed nature trail and catwalk over Reeves Bay in Flanders.

The proposal also was presented to the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association Monday.

“We’re really excited,” FRNCA president Ron Fisher said afterward. “This is our first time getting Community Preservation Fund money for an infrastructure project in Flanders. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

The project would create a 500-foot-long raised catwalk stretching north from 1194 Flanders Road, the site of a 1.5-story farmhouse on property once owned by Josiah Goodale.

Born in 1736, Mr. Goodale was one of Flanders’ earliest settlers, according to the town’s Flanders Hamlet Area Report.

The peninsula north of the house was called “Goodale’s Island.”

The house, along with a barn behind it, once belonged to Mr. Goodale’s descendants and are both over 100 years old. The proposal calls for the house to be used as an office. The barn and a chicken coop adjacent to it would be removed and replaced with a five-stall parking lot, with one of the spaces being Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.

A 20-foot-wide paved driveway from Flanders Road is also planned, and the lot would have a “right turn only” sign for cars exiting the site, officials said.

The town has hired L.K. McLean Associates, a consulting engineering firm, to perform several planning steps for the catwalk project at a cost of $57,620.

Officials estimate the total cost of the project will be around $500,000, which would be paid through CPF money.

Matthew Jedlicka of LKMA said Monday that the proposal calls for a raised boardwalk/catwalk to stretch north to a portion of the property on which an observation deck is proposed, overlooking Reeves and Flanders bays.

There may be benches and rails at the observation deck, Mr. Jedlicka said.

“I love the project itself,” Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said at a recent work session. “I think it’s exciting.”

Editor’s Note: The original version of this story misidentified the owner of the house at 1194 Flanders Road. It was built and owned by descendants of Josiah Goodale, not Mr. Goodale himself.

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Photo caption: The proposal calls for a catwalk to be constructed over Reeves Bay in Flanders. (Tim Gannon photo)