Portable work lights have been placed along Route 27 in Bridgehampton in preparation for a major repaving project, much of which will take place at night. Stephen J. Kotz photo
By Stephen J. Kotz
The New York State Department of Transportation will try a somewhat novel approach for the East End when it starts a major repaving project on Route 27 between Southampton and East Hampton towns this week.
According to Eileen Peters, a DOT spokeswoman, contractors working on the project will work on a single lane, detouring traffic to one of the shoulders, over short stretches of ¼-to½ mile and also do much of the work at night in an effort to reduce the inconvenience to motorists who rely on the highway as the main thoroughfare between the two towns.
“We are not closing any lanes. We are shifting lanes,” said Ms. Peters. “They will not be working on the length of road, only on smaller sections.”
She added, though, that motorists should still expect to encounter some temporary lane closures, particularly when operations are being set up along a given section of road.
Daytime work will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., to avoid causing tie-ups during the morning and afternoon trade parades. Aided by generator powered work lights that passersby may have already noticed springing up along the roadside, workers will return at night, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., to work in downtown areas and at busy intersections to further reduce disruptions during peak travel times.
In addition, the DOT will work up until the Memorial Day weekend before suspending the project, if it is not completed by then, until after Labor Day.
The DOT listened to “businesses who don’t want any construction after Memorial Day,” Ms. Peters said.
The project, she said, is weather-dependent, although the DOT is confident it will be completely finished by the end of the year.
A total of 8.2 miles will be repaved during the $7.6-million project, starting at the intersection of Route 27 and County Road 39, on the edge of Southampton Village and continuing east to Stephen Hands Path in East Hampton.
“We have been monitoring the condition of the pavement,” said Ms. Peters. “The last time it was repaved was 10 to 12 years ago, which is about average.”
She said short sections of the road already have been repaved as part of other construction projects more recently and that the DOT has tried to patch potholes along the heavily traveled road as often as possible.
Last year, the DOT repaved Route 27 from Stephen Hands Path to the Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton Village.
During the project, workers will use large milling machines to grind off the existing layer of worn asphalt, which will be hauled back to asphalt plants to be melted down and recycled for other uses, before adding a fresh layer of asphalt.
When the project is completed, along with the typical lane markings, the DOT will mark the shoulders to indicate they are bicycle lanes “to make it sure that motorists are sharing the road,” Ms. Peters said. More visible pedestrian-crosswalks will also be part of the project.
Motorists will be warned in advance of any lane closures via portable electronic road signs. The DOT has asked drivers who cannot use alternate routes to drive carefully through the work zone.
“It will be rough. There will be some inconveniences,” said Ms. Peters, who asked that motorist remain patient during the construction project. “We are rebuilding the road.”
Up-to-date traffic information can be obtained by calling 511 or visiting www.511NY.org. In addition, travel information can be obtained from the INFORM Transportation Management Center cameras at www.INFORMNY.com or on handheld devices at www.INFORMNY.mobi.