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Suffolk Legislature approves bill to upgrade Huntington Station intersection

The Suffolk County Legislature has approved a bill to upgrade an intersection in Huntington Station as part of efforts to revitalize the neighborhood.

The bill provides $250,000 to realign the intersection of Railroad Street and Lowndes Avenue. The change will calm traffic and improve safety for pedestrians in the area where the Columbia Terrace affordable condominium complex and a boutique hotel will be built, officials said.

"This is yet another step in our efforts to improve the safety and well-being of residents of Huntington Station," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. County officials said he is expected to sign it soon.

Included in the bill are funds for brick sidewalks and curbing, as well as decorative street lighting, county officials said. The money will come from the county's Jumpstart program, a comprehensive economic development plan to encourage and enhance the planning and development of regionally significant projects in and around Suffolk's downtowns.

Joan Cergol, community development director for the Town of Huntington, said the money saves the town from using funds out of its budget to upgrade the intersection.

"The Jumpstart program is designed to be applied toward projects that will jump-start municipal efforts so this gets things moving," she said.

The bill was approved Nov. 18 and was co-sponsored by Legis. William R. Spencer (D-Centerport) and Legis. Lou D'Amaro (D-North Babylon). Spencer said that in light of recent "unsettling" crimes along with a stabbing death in the hamlet in October, the money couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's great to be able to get as many resources into the community as possible," Spencer said. "The whole point of the Jumpstart program is for economic development projects that encourage safe communities and economic growth to foster planning and development of new construction in transit-oriented communities."

The project is scheduled to begin in late spring 2015 and be completed by Labor Day weekend, county officials said.

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