Route 27 Fix Starts Next Week

David E. Rattray

   Smoother roads are in the near future, as a much needed, much talked about repaving project on a stretch of Montauk Highway from Southampton to East Hampton is finally set to begin next Thursday.

     Details of the project are still being finalized, said Eileen Peters, a spokeswoman with the New York State Department of Transportation. The project is expected to be finished by the end of the year, with a hiatus taken during the summer due to the heavy traffic volume.

     The 8.2-mile stretch between Country Road 39 in Southampton and Stephen Hand's Path in East Hampton will be replaced with fresh asphalt, much to the delight of drivers who have been maneuvering around treacherous potholes following a particularly rough winter. The worst parts of Route 27 have not been resurfaced in over decade. An area of the highway from Buell Lane in East Hampton to South Etna Avenue in Montauk is due to be resurfaced later this year.

     "Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate," Ms. Peters said, adding that good weather and a certain humidity level are required in order to do the work.

     The private contracting firm, Inter County Paving of Hicksville, submitted the lowest qualified bid for the $7.6 million Southampton-to-East Hampton project, and will be paid through state and federal grants.

     Work will begin by removing the old layer of asphalt. "It will be a little rough there for a while," Ms. Peters said. In addition to a fresh layer of asphalt, new pavement markings and bike lanes will be added.

     Ms. Peters said the state has taken measures to lessen the impact on traffic and business in the area. To start, work will take place during midday, off-peak hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Later, night work will be implemented from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

     The highway will not be shut down during construction. Instead, workers will shift traffic while they work on one side of the road in small segments. "Traffic will be slowed. We do advise people if they know of an alternate route to take it," Ms. Peters said.

     Construction will stop by Memorial Day and pick up again after Labor Day. The full project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2014, although work usually stops by the end of November due to weather conditions.

            A 2.3-mile stretch of the highway, from Stephen Hand's Path to the intersection of Buell Lane in East Hampton, was milled and resurfaced last spring for $1.53 million