Mill Neck copes with West Shore Road detour traffic

Signs direct traffic through the intersection of Cleft Signs direct traffic through the intersection of Cleft Road and West Shore Road in Mill Neck. (April 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Ana Rico

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Mill Neck village officials have installed stop signs at two locations on Cleft Road to better cope with heavy traffic and speeding on the unofficial detour to closed West Shore Road.

West Shore Road, one of two access roads to and from Bayville and Centre Island, has been shut down for reconstruction since it was undermined by superstorm Sandy in October.

Initially the entire road was closed and traffic had to loop around through Mill Neck and Lattingtown. But since Nassau County reopened the southern third of the road south of Cleft Road in January, many drivers are using that portion of the road and Cleft Road as a shorter alternative to the official detour.

Mill Neck Mayor Peter Quick said the village board on Feb. 13 approved placement of stop signs at the Cleft Road intersections with Frost Mill Road and Horseshoe Road. The village spent $576 for the signs that were installed April 10.

"There's probably a tenfold increase in traffic" on Cleft, Frost Mill and Factory Pond roads since Sandy, Quick said.

"It's rather congested," Quick said. "There's been a lot of complaints from residents and unfortunately a higher police presence doesn't seem to slow people down," he said. He said the Old Brookville Police Department has increased patrols and at one point had an electronic speed readout sign on Factory Pond Road.

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But, he said, the problems continue.

Quick added that "we're seeing increased wear on village roads" so the village has asked its engineering consultant for an assessment.

Meanwhile, on West Shore Road, the $5 million project to do emergency repairs and reconstruct the center section is under way. County Executive Edward Mangano said the new seawall along West Shore Road is more than halfway completed.

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When that's completed, the road will be rebuilt. He said he remained optimistic that paving will begin by the end of May.

"The project remains on schedule to be completed by the July Fourth weekend," Mangano said. But county officials said the road or at least one lane could be open at certain times before that.

The current work is the first of three phases of a road reconstruction planned before Sandy.

The county has also been repairing flood damage to the Bayville Bridge, the drawbridge connecting Bayville and Mill Neck. It resumed operation Wednesday.

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