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Jul 25, 2017 10:50 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Work To Raise Dune Road To Begin Next Week

Portions of Dune Road to be raised.
Jul 25, 2017 3:57 PM

Work to raise the lowest sections of Dune Road is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, August 1, after funds for the work were approved by the Southampton Town Board—over the objection of one town official who wants a more permanent fix.

On July 20, the Town Board voted, 3-1, in favor of allocating $1 million in unused highway bonds from 2016 to raise the most flood-prone sections of Dune Road, a roughly 2.5-mile stretch that runs from Road K—known as Surfer Beach—in Hampton Bays to just west of Dolphin Lane in East Quogue.

According to Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, his department will target sections of the road that are less than 2 feet above sea level, and the work should take about three days to complete. It had been scheduled to begin this week, but heavy rains postponed the start of work for a week.

The first phase of the work will target the portion of Dune Road just west of the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays to just west of Tiana Beach. The area west of that point to the Quogue Village line is scheduled to be completed in September and October to avoid inconvenience during the summer months, according to a town press release on the project.

As much as 6 inches of fresh asphalt will be laid on top of existing roadway in some areas to raise the road surface to prevent flooding.

Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera voted against the measure, saying during last week’s special meeting that adding more layers of asphalt is not a long-term solution to flooding on Dune Road. Rather, she called for the board to come up with a long-term plan for raising the road.

She also argued that the new asphalt would have to be removed if funding eventually is secured to raise the entire seven-mile stretch of Dune Road between Hampton Bays and Quogue Village—work that is estimated to cost $7 million.

“We might have to rip it all up anyway,” Ms. Scalera said. “It’s like we’re throwing away money.”

Though he agreed with her idea of coming up with a permanent plan, Town Councilman John Bouvier said the town needs an “interim solution” to address what has become routine—and problematic—flooding.

“You have a problem here, and it’s been kicked down the road for quite some time,” Mr. Bouvier said, later adding, “I think this is important, at least to make the road passable during flood times.”

Town Councilman Stan Glinka abstained from voting on the bond resolution, citing concerns from constituents about potential traffic created by the road repaving work. Mr. Glinka lives in Hampton Bays.

Mr. Gregor said that some traffic is always inevitable, noting that the window for repaving work is narrow.

“Will it be a little inconvenient? Yes,” Mr. Gregor said. “But there would be some immediate relief. It will provide enough time for us to look at the more complicated section to the west.”

Attempts to secure federal funding for a larger plan to raise the entire seven-mile stretch of road from the Shinnecock Inlet to Quogue Village’s western border by nearly 2 feet had hit an insurmountable roadblock. Officials tried for several years to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include the larger project included in the draft 400-page Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study, commonly referred to as FIMP. The requested $7 million of funding, however, was never added—and even if it had been, construction likely would not begin until 2021.

Army Corps Public Affairs Specialist James D’Ambrosio said in a statement this month that the road could not be included in FIMP due to federal regulations.

“Whenever the Corps of Engineers studies a project, all aspects must be judged economically feasible: The projected savings in damage from having the project in place must be equal to or greater than the costs of building it,” Mr. D’Ambrosio said. “In this instance, it did not meet those guidelines.”

He noted that the Army Corps has suggested that the town pursue funding for the larger project through other government programs.

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Drain the roads....dump gregor!!!!!!
By Dumpgregor (12), Hampton Bays on Jul 25, 17 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good money after bad!

It's also going to require some filling of the wetlands -- where are the Town Trustees and the DEC?

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jul 25, 17 2:19 PM
Agreed - going on for years - no resolution - you need to question "why the rush now?" - election year? - need donors that live on Dune Road?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jul 25, 17 3:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
There are also areas of wetlands located on the south side of Dune Road that might be impacted because they will not be inundated by tidal waters any more
By Ziggyq (8), Quogue on Jul 25, 17 4:27 PM
Is this being done by highway crews, if so do they know how to install a road bed? Is the town going to be liable for any traffic accidents that are caused by faulty. Du installation? The highway department employees are are a joke,shorts, no ear protection ,no safety glasses and I have never seen one with a hard hat! Let competent companies do the work Dump CSEA and sub work to true union experienced crews.
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Jul 26, 17 11:01 AM
No need to bring in overpriced, painfully slow union labor! If you want to outsource , go to an open bid process and take the low bid
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 29, 17 3:12 PM