Repaving of the 10-mile stretch of Montauk Highway between County Road 39 in Southampton and Stephen Hands Path in East Hampton has gotten a green light from the state, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced on Monday.
The State Department of Transportation expects to open bids this fall and begin construction in spring 2014, spokeswoman Eileen Peters said.
Work on the road segment—lobbied for by Mr. Thiele and 10 other local politicians representing areas traversed by the highway—is estimated to cost $12.53 million of federal and state funds.
Project details have not yet been determined, but it should be similar to the repaving of a 2.3-mile stretch of the same highway from Stephen Hands Path east to State Route 114 in East Hampton, which is getting under way now, Ms. Peters said. Widening is not part of either project.
The 2.3-mile project—pushed back from the fall because of Superstorm Sandy—should be done by Memorial Day. It involves removing the top layer of pavement and putting down new asphalt to make it smoother, safer and to “improve the grip of the road,” Ms. Peters said.
Lane closures will be during off-peak hours, generally 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, though the state will try to “shift” the lanes of traffic where possible so both may remain open.
“The importance of this highway cannot be underestimated,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement issued Monday, adding that the road is the busiest on eastern Long Island and an essential thoroughfare for many, as well as the only evacuation route for the region.
“At a time when the economy has suffered from a deep recession, this project will mean not only construction jobs but will also foster the tourism/second-home-based economy of the region,” he said.
A letter he and other officials sent to the state in February called the condition of the road “deplorable” and compared it to the surface of the moon.
U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, and local mayors Paul Rickenbach (East Hampton Village), Brian Gilbride (Sag Harbor), Mark Epley (Southampton Village), Don Louchheim (Sagaponack) and Laura Nolan (North Haven) also signed the letter.
The comment period on the proposed amended State Transportation Improvement Plan ends on Friday. Comments may be submitted by mail to New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, Attn: David Drits, 199 Water Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10038; by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling (212) 383-7268.