North Road in Hampton Bays reopened to traffic on Friday, April 12, two and a half weeks earlier than expected.
The north-south artery had been closed to traffic since January 4 while workers completed repairs to the Long Island Rail Road train bridge, which was built in 1907. The reopening of the road, already delayed several times, was most recently pushed back to April 30.
The repairs are part of a project undertaken by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at the start of last year to repair the bridge, as well as the Montauk Highway train bridge, built in 1929, and Shinnecock Canal train bridge, built in 1931. The project was originally budgeted for $26.2 million, but will be completed for $19.4 million due to good weather conditions and favorable bids, according to Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for MTA.
Thomas Neely, the town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety, said the LIRR confirmed at 8 a.m. Friday that North Road would reopen before the end of the day. He said additional single-lane closures would be required to complete the remaining work, which includes the installation of concrete sealant and anti-graffiti proofing.
The road had been closed three different times since the project got under way. The first closure spanned from January 2012 through last Memorial Day, and the second ran from last September until the end of October.
Officials from Conti Corp, the New Jersey contractor in charge of the project, notified LIRR and Southampton Town officials that inclement weather delayed the work, prolonging the latest closure of the road. The construction included new abutment walls, removal of all lead paint and raising the bridge by about 5 inches to make room for buses and trucks.
The work is expected to increase the lifespan of the bridge until 2038, according to MTA officials.
Mr. Arena said the project has a final completion date of July 1, 2013, but added that the majority of the construction activities should be complete by Memorial Day weekend.
He also explained that the work on the Montauk Highway train bridge, which includes concrete repairs and a slew of final touches, is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. The Shinnecock Canal bridge, meanwhile, still requires steel repairs, painting, stone abutment and site restoration work, and that is set to be finished by the end of June.