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Emergency repairs for Southampton's Dune Road approved

Emergency repairs to a 500-foot section of Dune Road in Southampton that has washed over into the bay as a result of the recent storms and high tides were approved during a special meeting of the town board Thursday.

Dune Road west of Ponquogue Bridge to the Quogue Bridge may be flooded in some areas during high tides and could be impassable and temporary closures may be necessary.

The area is about 2.5 miles west of Ponquogue Bridge and 1,500 feet east of Triton Lane. The washover was first identified Feb. 8 as a result of storm surge.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman also declared a limited state of emergency in order to expedite the needed repair. The emergency declaration allows the town to accelerate the required coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to move sand to rebuild a berm. It also allows the town to request help from the Suffolk County Department of Public Works to bring in heavy equipment to reconstruct the berm.

The plan is to move in 6,000 cubic yards of sand from an existing stockpile in order to shore up the area by creating a berm that will be 500 feet long, 10 to 15 feet high and have a 50- to 75-foot base.

“Since the overwash there has been increased local flooding in low-lying bay-side communities,” Schneiderman said. They include areas that have a history of problems with minor flooding during winter storms such as Hampton Bays and East Quogue.

“We are taking these emergency measures in order to protect Dune Road as well as those local communities,” Schneiderman said. “I am impressed with how quickly our staff responded to this emergency with a very complete mitigation plan.”

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