$25.6M Port Jeff Station road project starts soon

Edward Romaine, now Brookhaven Town supervisor, attends the Edward Romaine, now Brookhaven Town supervisor, attends the blessing of the Peconic Jitney. (June 27, 2012) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

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A $25.6 million road reconstruction project in Port Jefferson Station expected to improve motorist safety at routes 347 and 112 -- one of Brookhaven Town's busiest intersections -- will begin this month, officials said.

The New York State Department of Transportation project, announced Friday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is the third in a series along Route 347, state officials said.

It will include a jug handle for left turns to reduce travel delays, fuel use and vehicle emissions, a new park to make the area appealing and a travel lane that will be added, they said. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

By transforming Route 347 into a modified boulevard and suburban greenway for 15 miles through the towns of Smithtown, Islip and Brookhaven, state officials say the entire project aims to provide safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

"This is one of the most heavily traveled roads in Brookhaven. It's been a congestion nightmare. Anything we can do to improve traffic flow and green space is good," Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Sunday afternoon.

Other features of the project include: improved drainage to aid roadway stormwater runoff, landscaping, tree plantings, new traffic and pedestrian signals and high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks.

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"Ensuring driver safety and improving this intersection will benefit both commuters; their communities," Cuomo said in a statement. "The new New York is committed to prioritizing stronger and smarter infrastructure projects that create jobs."

Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) said the collaborative effort will be a great benefit to the community.

Originally built in the 1950s as a farm delivery road, Route 347 grew along with the suburban development boom into a major east-west corridor, state officials said.

In 1969, an average of 48,000 vehicles used the roadway per day. Now roughly 71,000 vehicles use the road each day, state officials said.

"This project is a win-win-win, which will improve traffic flow, create jobs and offer new amenities to the community," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in a statement.

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