Repair work, which could result in short-term slow downs, has commenced on a 15-mile stretch of Montauk Highway in East Hampton Town, in preparation for a major repaving initiative expected to begin the week of Oct. 20, the state Department of Transportation said.

The active resurfacing work on the stretch between Route 114 in East Hampton to South Etna Avenue, Montauk, is to be scheduled for off-peak hours, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting, the DOT said Wednesday in a news release.

Lane shifts on short sections are planned wherever possible as opposed to lane closures, the DOT said, with a single lane in each direction to remain open. However, "single lane, alternating direction traffic" could be called for occasionally.

Work on busy intersections and downtown areas is planned for nighttime hours.

The department is also seeking input before Oct. 6 from Amagansett merchants regarding work options for the 3.5-mile stretch from Methodist Lane through Old Montauk Highway -- considered a priority for repaving before the onset of winter weather -- which includes the 1,500-foot shopping area, the DOT said.

The plan was originally for nighttime-only work, but the DOT is raising the question of switching to off-peak daytime roadwork, which would prohibit on-street parking, but with access remaining to side streets and other parking. That would involve work from Tuesdays through Thursdays, expected to be completed in five days, though not necessarily consecutive, the DOT said.

Acknowledging the greater impact that it would have on merchants, the DOT also said that "without day work, it is likely the 1500 [foot] section will likely wait until spring 2015" for the resurfacing to be done. Business owners are asked to call the DOT's engineer-in-charge at 631-204-5720 to give an opinion.

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