Albany, NY - June 10, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction will begin next week on a $30.5 million New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) project to make safety and mobility improvements along the Route 347 corridor in the town of Smithtown, Suffolk County. The project is the second in a series of Route 347 corridor projects planned to improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians and reduce travel delays by transforming NY Route 347 into a modified boulevard and suburban greenway for 15 miles through Smithtown, Islip, and Brookhaven. This next Route 347 project, between NY Route 111 and Mount Pleasant Road, is the largest transportation design-build project on Long Island.
“This innovative project is part of our work to strengthen infrastructure and roads all across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the largest transportation design-build project on Long Island, it will support hundreds of local jobs as well as improve safety and reduce traffic for the 71,000 drivers who use Route 347 every day. Further, under our Drivers First initiative, construction which begins next week will progress in a way that provides the least hassle for drivers while getting the work done quickly and efficiently for our taxpayers.”
NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “The greening of NY Route 347 continues with even more inventiveness and cutting-edge approaches thanks to Governor Cuomo and the commitment of our public officials, community groups, residents and businesses. This next Route 347 project combines changes to protect our surrounding environment and waterways while enhancing safety for motorists and providing attractive facilities to encourage walking and biking.”
Features of the NY Route 347 safety, mobility and environmental improvement project include:
- A continuous third travel lane in each direction between NY Route 111 and Mt. Pleasant Road;
- A separate bike and shared-use pedestrian path on the south side;
- Bus stops for transit riders and solar lighting at new bus shelters;
- Narrowed travel lanes to reduce speeds and a lower 45 mph speed limit;
- High-visibility crosswalks and pedestrian countdown timers;
Raised planted medians, sound barriers, solar street lighting and LED traffic signals will also be installed.
Originally built in the 1950s as a farm delivery route, NY 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 NY 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 Tim Bishop said, "I am proud to have helped secure federal funding to make Route 347 safer, more efficient, and more pleasant for the thousands of drivers who rely on it each day. Putting Long Islanders to work building state-of-the-art greenway that better accommodates bikers and pedestrians is a win-win for the community."
New York State Senator John Flanagan said, “The ongoing effort to improve Route 347 in a smarter and more efficient manner will benefit every aspect of our community. The project will help our motorists travel more easily through the area and that in turn will help our local businesses attract customers. By undertaking this transformation in an environmentally-friendly manner, this project will help protect the surrounding communities for years to come. This is clearly something our region needs and I look forward to its completion.”
Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick said, "Having grown up in Hauppauge just a ‘stone's throw’ from Route 347, I have witnessed the changes to the character of this old Farm Road as it slowly became a major thoroughfare as Smithtown and eastern Long Island grew in population. I appreciate Governor Cuomo's contribution to the new thinking at the DOT and thank him for guiding this project to successful completion. Not only will Route 347 move traffic more efficiently, but the beautification of the roadway and attention given to pedestrians and cyclists is a very welcome improvement.”
Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said, “This is great news. Reconstruction will have a positive, major impact on traffic flow from west to east on Rte. 347”.
Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) Executive Director Marc Herbst said, “LICA is pleased to see the State is utilizing a Design-Build approach to the upcoming NY Route 347 project. We have long advocated for design-build contracts, and look forward to the completion of this project as demonstration of the cost and schedule efficiencies of this approach which will benefit our community and taxpayers in addition to the safety, mobility and environmental improvements integrated into the design.”
Eric Alexander, Executive Director of Vision Long Island, said, "The Route 347 Greenway is a fine example of a project shaped with input from the local community and best design practices. Kudos to NYSDOT for funding a plan that enhances safety, alternate transportation, green amenities and provides jobs for Long Islanders.
“The Route 347 project has come a long way as a result of strong collaboration between NYSDOT, advocates and community stakeholders,” said Ryan Lynch, Associate Director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “The current project better balances the safety needs of pedestrians, cyclists and transit users along the corridor and more effectively meets the changing mobility preferences of the 21st century.”
Posillico Civil, Inc. was chosen through the Best Value procurement method, which scores proposals based on cost and a set of value criteria, including the contractor’s technical ability to perform the work.
As part of Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First initiative, the project plans went through a rigorous review to ensure that construction will have the least possible impact to the traveling public. Drivers First requires that capital construction road and bridge projects are assessed to ensure that work is planned to minimize the impact on highway users. During this project, access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction, and most construction activities that require travel lane closures will be conducted during night time hours.
Construction is scheduled to be substantially completed with the greenway fully open to motorists and pedestrians by the end of 2014.
For real-time travel information motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.org, New York State’s official traffic and travel information source. Motorists may also obtain travel information from the INFORM Transportation Management Center cameras at www.INFORMNY.com and on their hand held communication devices at www.INFORMNY.mobi . The featured project website, www.NY347.org, provides detailed project information, including a link to the FEIS and project plans.