The Riverhead Planning Board approved a new traffic signal on Route 58 last Thursday.
The new signal will benefit the Hilton Garden Inn and Marriott Residence Inn, both of which are owned by developer Lee Browning. The hotels share an entrance and exit.
The existing entrance is on the eastern part of the property, but drivers leaving that lot who wish to travel east must first head west and then make a U-turn by Splish Splash.
The new signal will be installed at the westernmost part of the property, and will allow cars to make either left or right turns in and out of the lot.
A portion of the existing guardrail will be removed to facilitate the change.
A traffic analysis of the plan indicated the new signal would improve safety and reduce illegal U-turns, officials said.
The state Department of Transportation called for a “fully protected” green turning arrow for vehicles making left turns into the parking lot.
Mr. Browning had said at a public hearing last year that he saw the potential for an accident similar to the fatal limo crash in Cutchogue because of drivers making U-turns.
Photo caption: The developer of the Marriott Residence Inn and Hilton Garden Inn on Route 58 proposed the traffic signal placed at the site’s entrance/exit. (Tim Gannon photo)