Town explores ways to ease Calverton traffic

Riverhead Town officials are trying to solve congestion traffic problems at the intersection of Middle County Road (Route 25) and Fresh Pond Avenue in Calverton, but they acknowledge their options may be limited. 

The recently built Tractor Supply Co. and the yet-to-be-built HK Ventures industrial development project, both on Route 25, abut potential areas where officials said a traffic signal could be located. 

“When the Tractor Supply proposal first came in about six years ago, there were two applications: a two-lot minor subdivision, and then the site where Tractor Supply was planned,” said senior town planner Greg Bergman. 

He said the traffic impact study done at the time determined it was unlikely that a traffic signal would be needed at the Fresh Pond intersection. “However, [the study] did note that, in the reasonable worst-case scenarios, it would likely warrant a traffic signal,” he added.

The state Department of Transportation said at the time that a signal was not warranted. 

In 2021, HK Ventures filed an application to construct a more than 400,000-square-foot storage and industrial complex east of Tractor Supply, a project that has since been delayed by court proceedings

“We looked at several alternatives,” to a traffic light, Mr. Bergman said, including a roundabout at the intersection. 

The state DOT said that it would prefer a signal at the intersection, in part because the roundabout would require taking land. 

“The roundabout was highly unlikely,” Mr. Bergman said. 

One alternative was to allow for cross access between the adjacent Tractor Supply and HK Ventures properties,, officials said. 

In March 2021, Calverton Industries, which owned the sand mine company next door, rejected the use of their property for cross easement with Tractor Supply, Mr. Bergman said. 

“Right now, we’re in a position where we have no jurisdiction over that intersection,” Mr. Bergman said, adding that he will review the matter with LKMA, the town’s traffic consulting company.

“Residents there have been asking for several years for a traffic light to be placed at the intersection of Middle County Road and Fresh Pond,” Councilwoman Joann Waski said. “This road serves as cross access from Middle Country Road to Sound Avenue, and the residents in Timber Park use this road as a way to gain entry onto Middle Country Road.” 

There is also a senior mobile home park on Fresh Pond Avenue with about 328 units.