A 10-mile stretch of Montauk Highway, beginning at the eastern end of County Road 39A in Southampton and continuing east to the Stephen Hands Path intersection in Wainscott, will be repaved later this year.
New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor, announced Monday that the state Department of Transportation has agreed to amend the Transportation Improvement Plan to include $12.5 million for the project, which will be paid for by state and federal funds.
Thiele said he and 10 other elected officials on the South Fork wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald on Feb. 7 asking that a scheduled reconstruction of 2.3 miles of Montauk Highway from Stephen Hands Path to State Route 114 be expanded to include this additional 10 miles.
Cuomo and McDonald responded quickly and favorably, Thiele said.
The 2.3 miles will be paved this spring, and the work on the additional 10 miles will begin after Labor Day, according to Thiele's office.
"It is essential for both local residents and the substantial second home industry," Thiele said of Montauk Highway, which he called the most heavily trafficked road on the South Fork. "It is important for business and commerce in that the delivery of goods and services as well as the transportation of workers and tradesmen depend on this road. Most important, local fire, ambulance, and emergency service workers depend on this road to do their jobs, particularly to transport patients to Southampton Hospital."
Additionally, Montauk Highway is the South Fork's only evacuation route, and rehabilitating the road will lead to much-needed construction jobs and foster the tourism-based economy, he said.
Thiele encouraged local elected officials and members of the public to submit comments to the Department of Transportation before Friday's deadline, by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or New York Metropolitan Transportation Council; Attn: David Drits; 199 Water Street, 22nd Floor; New York, NY 10038, or by calling 212 383-7268.