Project Will Reduce Delays and Improve Safety
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $36.2 million project to make safety and mobility improvements along a 1.2-mile section of State Route 347 between Terry and Gibbs Pond roads in Smithtown will begin this week. This project is the fifth in a series of Route 347 corridor projects planned to improve safety and reduce travel delays by transforming the road into a modified boulevard and suburban greenway for 15 miles through the towns of Smithtown, Islip, and Brookhaven.
"Long Island is one of the most populated regions in the state and it is critically important its transportation network has the capacity to safely and reliably accommodate heavy commuter, tourist and business traffic," Governor Cuomo said. "Continued upgrades to Route 347 are transforming this corridor into a safe, modern road that accommodates not only cars, but also the many pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit users that rely on it each day."
As part of this project, a continuous third travel lane will be constructed in each direction between Terry and Gibbs Pond roads, as well as a separate bike and shared-use pedestrian path on the south side. Travel lanes will be narrowed to reduce speeds and a reduced 45 mph speed limit will be imposed.
Additionally, the project includes the installation of bus stops with solar lighting for transit riders, high-visibility crosswalks and countdown timers for pedestrians and extensive landscape installations, including planted medians, a rain garden and bio swales. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "This project continues Governor Cuomo's mission of renovating Long Island's aging roads and bridges with projects, big and small, that protect and improve the environment and integrate the transportation system into the fabric of the local community."
Originally built in the 1950s as a farm delivery route, Route 347 grew along with the suburban development boom into a major east-west corridor. In 1969, an average of 48,000 vehicles per day used this roadway, while today approximately 71,000 vehicles use the road each day. The planned vision for the entire Route 347 corridor includes the "Parks to Ports and Harbors" unifying theme to tie together many assets and local destinations such as Blydenburgh County Park and Port Jefferson Harbor.
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, "As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I strongly support making these improvements necessary to our local roadways and bridges. The continued improvements to Route 347 will help increase our community's transportation safety, as well as strengthen our infrastructure and economy. This is one of the biggest reasons why I helped lead the successful effort this past December to get a five year, fully funded highway bill passed and signed into law. Moving forward, I look forward to continue working closely with Governor Cuomo to ensure our region's infrastructure needs are best met as a result of great cooperation and teamwork between different levels of government."
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said, "The reconstruction of Route 347 is essential to ensuring the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists living, working, and enjoying our community. The significant improvements to this vital and well-traveled roadway will stimulate local businesses and invigorate the area’s economy, and I look forward to the project’s completion."
Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick said, "I appreciate Governor Cuomo's focus on the aesthetics of the 347 project as well as his attention to the efficient movement of traffic. The project so far has been a big success and has been well received by residents."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for prioritizing and supporting infrastructure investments in Suffolk County. In order to encourage and support economic growth in our region, investments in our transportation infrastructure are necessary."
As part of Governor Cuomo's Drivers First initiative, access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction and most construction activities that require travel lane closures will be conducted during night time hours.
For real-time travel information motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.org, New York State’s official traffic and travel information source. The New York State Department of Transportation appreciates the patience and cooperation of motorists during this important road reconstruction operation.
Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOTLI. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NYSDOT.
The featured project website, www.NY347.org, provides detailed project information, including a link to the FEIS and project plans.
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