A New York State road repaving project is expected to slow traffic this spring on the main artery through the Hamptons, state officials said.

The $13.8 million project aims to repair worn pavement on a 15-mile stretch of Route 27, between East Hampton and Montauk.

Work began last week and will conclude, weather permitting, before the busy Hamptons tourism season begins next month on Memorial Day weekend, state officials said.

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"We're very, very aware of the need to keep traffic flowing," said New York State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Eileen Peters. "As a policy here on Long Island, we do not close travel lanes except during emergencies on the East End or heavily traveled tourism areas between Memorial Day and Labor Day."

Route 27 will remain open in both directions, but traffic may be shifted onto shoulders in work areas, Peters said. For a few short stretches, only one lane may be available, meaning drivers could be directed to stop for oncoming traffic, she said.

The Route 27 resurfacing began in the fall, when crews repaved some of the most deteriorated areas in eastern East Hampton Village and Amagansett, Peters said.

The work paused in the winter, when temperatures dropped too low for paving.

Route 27 often becomes clogged in the summer with part-time residents, beachgoers and other visitors to the Hamptons.

"Traffic is always a concern, but this is the price you pay for getting the work done," said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

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"Certainly people will be annoyed by it, but you can't do this kind of road work without some inconvenience."

Marina Van, director of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce, said the work was "most welcome" because the roads have become "extremely, extremely bad."

"This is not that busy a time of year," she said. "I'm grateful that they can do it now."