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Jul 29, 2011 6:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Noyac Road Project Won't Happen In 2011

Aug 3, 2011 8:33 AM

A plan to reconfigure the curve on Noyac Road near Cromer’s Market in Noyac has been shelved until at least 2012, Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor told the Southampton Town Board in a tension-filled discussion at the board’s Friday work session.

The project has been on the town’s to-do list for the last seven years and has undergone several different revisions and designs, according to town officials this week. Mr. Gregor is pitching a new proposal which involves the town purchasing, or possibly condemning, about 900 square feet of land owned by George Heine, the owner of Whalebone General Store. Mr. Heine’s business shares a parking lot with Cromer’s Market on Noyac Road.

The new proposal will be unveiled publicly sometime later this month, Mr. Gregor said on Tuesday, while declining to provide a rendering of the design.

The plan he is proposing involves realigning Noyac Road and creating medians and several left turn lanes that would mitigate the “wild west” traffic situation there, Mr. Gregor said. Along with that, curbing would be created to frame the Cromer’s and Whalebone parking lot to prevent cars from backing out of spaces directly onto Noyac Road. The plan Mr. Gregor is proposing would require the town to purchase a triangle of land just west of Whalebone General Store.

At the work session, Mr. Gregor asked the board to release $480,000 earmarked for the project this year to allow some additional paving before the season ends, saying the Noyac Road project was “not going to happen this year.” He said the current proposal to reconfigure the dangerous curve, the location of about 30 accidents since 2008, according to unofficial data from Town Public Transportation and Traffic Safety Director Tom Neely, has hit a snag: Mr. Heine has not agreed to sell the necessary land, so the Town Board would be forced to condemn the property in order to complete the project. Mr. Heine did not return calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

Board members initially balked at the request. Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she was “very troubled” that the project was being put off for yet another year, especially since money had been borrowed to complete it. The residents of Noyac had gotten “more than one promise from this town that the project was going to go through,” she said. Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, also a Noyac resident, agreed, adding that the accidents on the curve have included fatalities and serious damage to both vehicles and buildings: “No question, it’s got to be addressed.”

But Mr. Gregor said “the public doesn’t care for the project” and has generally supported Mr. Heine. He noted that there was no contract to proceed with the work to realign the curve on Noyac Road. Likewise, he said, eight utility poles will have to be relocated as part of the project, and that cannot be done until a contract is in place. Instead, the money would be better used toward additional paving before the end of the season, he said.

The roads slated to be paved, should the $480,000 be reallocated, include Big Fresh Pond, Noyac Path and Shrubland Road, all of which are “overdue” for attention, Mr. Gregor said. Both he and Vince Galdiero of Paving Services Inc., a consultant who advises the Highway Department on road repaving, pointed out that time was a factor: later in the season, the cost of paving materials goes up, and the cost of putting the paving work off to next year could mean the roads in question could deteriorate even further, requiring more extensive repairs in 2012.

At the heart of the dispute was the nature of the $480,000, which is in addition to $3.5 million borrowed as the 2011 portion of a road reconstruction plan. Mr. Gregor maintained that the portion destined for the Noyac Road work was not encumbered for that project by the Town Board at the time it was borrowed, and he seemed irked that he needed permission to use it for paving elsewhere in town. But Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst pointed out, and Comptroller Tamara Wright agreed, that the money had been earmarked specifically for the project as part of the Town Highway Department’s capital budget for 2011, and thus it could not be spent for other purposes without a Town Board vote to amend the capital budget.

The request touched a sore spot with Councilman Jim Malone, who pointed out his problems in the past with Mr. Gregor coming back to the board for additional funds for paving. Mr. Gregor then launched into an attack on the board for taking Noyac Road into the town system, even though a lawsuit that the county lost to the Town of Huntington earlier this year may have meant that the county would be obligated to pay for repairs and maintenance on the road. He argued that by taking ownership of the road, a measure that Mr. Malone spearheaded, the town gave up any chance of the county paying for projects like the Cromer’s intersection project. “You gave away the farm on Noyac Road,” he said.

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Give it to them , Alex.
By danrudan (40), Southampton on Jul 29, 11 6:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Come on.......This project should have been completed already. Why is this once again being held up? The area is a death trap! At the very least put up speed signson both sides of the road with a speed of 15 miles an hour. Have a police car stationed on a side street. All ticket proceeds should go to funding this project.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Jul 29, 11 11:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Gregor is incompetent. What kind of education and experience does he have to qualify him to run the Town of S.H. highway dept? The Town of S.H. should have fired him months ago. The State of NY has to many highway departments, does every local, county and state, town, city and county need its own highway department? If all highway departments were combined, we would not have the lousy pot hole roads I drive on in the Town. All I see, feel and hear from the Town of S.H. Government is incompetence ...more
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Jul 30, 11 4:00 PM
Please, let us all know how he is incompetent? I would say he is strapped down by Councilman Jim Malone (Highway Liaison) and the town board.
Also, when was the last time you called in a pot hole to be fixed?
Town Highway contact is 631 728-3600 or agregor@southamptontownny.gov
Call Councilman Jim Malone (Highway Liaison) 728-6000 or 852-2000 or 287-5745
By BigOne (22), Hampton Bays on Jul 31, 11 2:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Interesting exchange, but the question of "education and experience" (as well as dedication) scarcely applies exclusively to Mr. Gregor. What qualifications are requisite (or for that matter, verified) for candidates routinely tossing their hats into the political ring ? Competence and discipline should originate from the top of the political food-chain. Based on previous and continuing shenanigans as well as double-speak at Town Hall on multiple fronts, the pickings around here seem mighty slim ...more
By Rainfall (22), Hampton Bays on Jul 30, 11 5:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
Speed bumbs and signs can fix the problem overnight.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jul 30, 11 5:54 PM
when i was on vacation in colombia they had very large speed bumps and they worked very well slowing traffic
By pinga (90), hamptonbays on Jul 31, 11 9:04 AM
Its a difficult corner which has become more difficult since the widening of County Rd 39 as now lots of traffic that should remain up on the highway cut through Noyac Road. Perhaps some traffic calming measures on either side of the turn would help as both sides approach at speed, traffic needs to be slowwwwedddd down and maybe that would appease everyone. As for Mr Malones comments, the town board needs to recognize the fact that our roads are in bad shape and they need to repaired. The longer ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jul 31, 11 10:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Aug 1, 11 12:17 AM
Looks like old rrc1049 put his foot in it again. His post up above was about 90% wrong, and I bet this one was the same trash, but a little too smelly, and it got taken down. You need to chill, guy. Make nice and maybe Mommy will let you play with the other children.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Aug 1, 11 10:18 AM
As a parent who stood with my children for 13 years waiting for the bus, the problem is not the corner by cromers but the road leading towards it coming from Southhampton, were all the cars and expeically the large dump trucks speed going at least 50 mph. For years I called just to have a cop check the speed now all they did is put a speed checker that means nothing. Maybe when a kid finally gets killed the town will slow down the road. Speed bumps are the right answer not fixing the coner at ...more
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on Aug 1, 11 10:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sagharborparent - you are correct - the speeding issue must be addressed. I visit Cromer's (only when I'm heading west) and park on Bay Avenue & walk around. This area is a mess, with landscape trucks parked all over, folks trying to make left turns, cars & dump trucks flying around the corner, then traffic coming & going on the 3 near-by roads. Speed bumps to the east & west would work, plus making Elm one-way. Cedar should be closed to the public as folks are parking all over that road & blocking ...more
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Aug 1, 11 12:53 PM
To me the problem is speeding in general all along Noyac road. Its time to put in traffic slowing measures. Lights and Stop signs. That way it want be the back road to East Hampton it has become as the crawl will be worse than Sunrise. The problem at Cromers is not the blind corners as you head in each direction but the parking lot in front of the stores. The parking lot access from the road should be blocked. Put a sidewalk there blocking it.

As for Alex Gregor... Again he comes up with ...more
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Aug 1, 11 1:36 PM
lets go back to horse and buggies
By littleplains (305), olde england on Aug 1, 11 3:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dear Clam Pie, I'll tell you what I talked about. I talked about how LIPA, National Grid, The Suffolk County Water Authority et-al continually tear up our roads to install gas, electrical lines and water pipes. These guys don't do a great job repairing the damage they create, they leave the roads a mess, in most instances, a driving hazard. I also went on to say that your beloved Highway Dept "head" never inspects or holds the Authority's accountable for the lousy job in repairing the damage they ...more
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Aug 1, 11 4:42 PM
1. If that's what you talked about, how come your post got taken down?
2. About your earlier post being 90% wrong, OK, just for the heck of it: 1st sentence, about Gregor being incompetent -- tell us how, just like BigOne asked you to. 2nd sentence, about Gregor's experience -- if you'd followed the campaign in 2009 where he got elected, you'd know he has lots of hands-on experience. 3rd sentence, about firing him -- he can't be fired, he was elected to a 4-year term. 4th sentence, about ...more
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Aug 2, 11 10:02 PM
1 member liked this comment