Mild temperatures and absence of snow has allowed Route 347 construction workers to get a jump on their spring plans, according to New York State Department of Transportation officials.
Adam Levine, a spokesman for New York State Department of Transportation, said the mild winter has allowed workers to get started on below ground work that normally would have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring. The absence of snow and mild weather have left the ground temperature warm, dirt more pliable.
Construction crews could be spotted near the Route 347 and Route 454 intersection this Wednesday and Thursday, digging a hole to install drainage systems and utility conduit support.
The Route 347 improvement project between the Route 454/Veterans Highway intersection east to Route 111/Wheeler Road is now in phase three, Levine said, the final phase of construction.
Under Phase 3, residents should expect to see workers making drainage and utility installations before beginning to widen the roadway, as was performed on the westbound lane. After widening the roadway, Levine said crews will construct the shared pedestrian/bicycle path.
"The dirt you see on the south side of 347, near the Carvel, is related to the trenching work for drainage pipe installation. The construction of the path will come later this spring, he said.
The ongoing construction is to transform 15 miles of Route 347 into an environmentally conscious, motor and pedestrian-friendly highway stretching from Hauppauge to Port Jefferson. The one-mile stretch in Hauppauge from the Route 347/454 split to the Route 111 intersection is scheduled to be completed by late summer 2012.
Clickto see a recent photo gallery of Route 347 construction, including the installatin of drainage pipes, along the eastbound lanes.