D.O.T. Slammed for Ignoring Route 114

A mass of potholes mars a particularly bad section of Route 114 between Stephen Hand’s Path and Sag Harbor. Officials are urging the State Department of Transportation to resurface the road in the spring. Carissa Katz

People who drive Route 114 daily between Stephen Hand’s Path in East Hampton and Sag Harbor have gotten accustomed to dodging an ever-growing string of potholes that mar the road, some so big they force drivers to the shoulder in an effort to avoid them.

But despite lawmakers’ repeated calls for the road to be resurfaced between Stephen Hand’s Path and the South Ferry terminal on North Haven, the State Department of Transportation appears to have no plan to do so in the near future. “They’ve said, ‘It’s not in our five-year plan,’ ” State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said yesterday.

Late last month, six local officials led by Assemblyman Thiele and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle again called on the D.O.T. to repave the eight-mile stretch of state road, sharing their concerns in a Dec. 21 letter to Paul Karas, the D.O.T. commissioner, about “worsening potholes that pose an incredible safety hazard to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder, and North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander also signed the letter. “We fear that this roadway will not make it through another season with no resurfacing planned for the near future,” the officials wrote. This is their third request for the resurfacing in two years.

Rather than piecemeal pothole repairs, which have been done on that section in recent years, they called for complete resurfacing. In a release this week, Assemblyman Thiele’s office said the “D.O.T. should prepare now and authorize the paving of this road during the spring 2018 construction season.” However, on Tuesday Assemblyman Thiele said, “I don’t see any way that it will be done in the spring.”

The D.O.T. has not offered a timeline for the repairs, nor has it responded to repeated questions about when the section of road between Stephen Hand's Path and Sag Harbor was last resurfaced. In an email on Wednesday, its spokesman Stephen Canzoneri, pointed out other sections of Route 114 that have been resurfaced in the past three years, including near the South Ferry terminal and the two-mile section between Stephen Hand's Path and Route 27 in East Hampton. The latter was completed in the fall of 2016.

"We will continue to make improvements as needed," Mr. Canzoneri said.
Mr. Thiele could not recall the exact date for the last resurfacing of the section in question, but said it could have been as long ago as 2002. "It's overdue," Mr. Thiele said.

In East Hampton Village construction is underway on a roundabout on Route 114 at the intersection of Buell and Toilsome Lanes. That project is slated to be finished this spring.

As for the road between Stephen Hand’s and North Haven, “if the D.O.T. won’t do it on their own, we have the ability, as part of the budget process, to provide the funding and direct them to do it,” Assemblyman Thiele said Tuesday.

He believes the D.O.T. has “not taken into account the major amount of traffic Route 114 gets now, particularly in the summertime.”

“One way or another, we are committed to getting this done.”
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Correction: The online version of this story originally appeared with an incorrect byline.