A busy intersection in Smithtown has received a face-lift with the completion of a roughly $200,000 road widening and reconfiguration project about a decade after initial plans were discussed.
Smithtown town officials said they completed the project in late November that widened and added a third traffic lane on Edgewood Avenue at Landing Avenue to help ease traffic there.
"The main emphasis of the project was that we could establish a dedicated right lane, a straight-thru lane, and a dedicated left-turn lane on Edgewood Avenue in the westbound direction," said Mitchell Crowley, the town's traffic safety director.
Previously, Edgewood Avenue had only two westbound lanes: A dedicated right-turn lane and a lane for both straight and left turns, Crowley said.
He said the town also improved the intersection alignment at all four corners.
"Before this work was done, when you were headed westbound on Edgewood straight to Jericho Turnpike you would be directly facing the northbound, left-turn lane onto Landing," he said. "That's a safety hazard."
Crowley said the road corners were softened to help drivers better negotiate right turns. Data on accidents at the location were not immediately available.
Crowley, who redesigned the intersection, said the project commenced in August with the relocation of utility poles. Kings Park Industries completed curb and sidewalk construction, paving and tree removal at the site last fall, he said.
Councilman Thomas McCarthy said the project was tied up for years as the town worked to acquire property needed to widen the road.
Town documents show that the town officials unanimously approved the purchase of land from Albert and Joan Adler for $7,500 in 2012 and unanimously approved the purchase of land from Joseph and Karen Rauseo for $1,600 last year for the road project.
McCarthy said the change has been positive for residents. "You can see the difference in the backlog of traffic on Edgewood Avenue," he said.Crowley said there was a history of traffic backing up on Edgewood Avenue eastbound, adding, "This should hopefully ease that."