Traffic Signal, Drainage Work Unfinished on Route 347 Expansion

Traffic Signals, drainage systems still require work; contractors bidding underway for next two segments of project.

Construction along Route 347 will resume in the spring as officials put the finishing touches in the Smithtown-Hauppauge area and begin moving east. 

Eileen Peters, spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Transportation, said most of the substantial work along the one-mile stretch of Route 347 between Route 454/Veterans Highway east to Route 111/Wheeler Road has been substantially completed. Workers are hoping to put on the finishing touches by late spring 2013 before the project moves east. 

"The majority of construction was completed before the Christmas holidays before severe cold weather set in," Peters said. 

To complete the current stretch between Route 454 and Route 111, workers will be evaluating and finalizing traffic signals and finishing various drainage projects. There will be construction near the intersection of Route 347 and Route 111 as the drainage recharge basin is finished, which will be planted with greenery and is designed serve as rest stop for bike riders and pedestrians.

This first one-mile stretch of the Route 347 greenway project was slated to be completed by August 2012, and will finish behind schedule. With some work remaining, it's not clear whether the project has stayed on its $26.8 million budget. 

"A complete tally of the final costs is currently underway. This includes a final accounting of the quantities of materials used and the adjustments that were made to meet actual conditions in-the-field. A final cost will not be available until after project completion," Peters said in written statement. 

DOT is already looking to move construction eastwards, moving along Route 347 from Route 111/Wheeler Road east to Mount Pleasant Road. Residents have voted to have sound walls installed along this stretch of the roadway to reduce noise from the roadway this fall. 

The state has called for interested contractors to submit their bid for the project by Feb. 25. Then DOT will evaluate the proposals and choose a design-build team by mid-March, according to Peters. 

Action is also picking up at the other end of Route 347 project, as the DOT has started accepting bids on Jan. 10 for the reconstruction of the Route 347 and Route 112 intersection. Peters said the DOT is in the process of determining the lowest bid before awarding the contract.

The DOT's plans call for adding a third travel along to Route 347 within a half-mile distance of the Route 112 intersection. A jug handle will also constructed to allow drivers to make easier turns between Route 347 and Route 112. 

Dave M. February 04, 2013 at 04:54 PM
How many more years is this pork project going to take? What has been gained by all of the costs and disruptions that we have suffered so far? More traffic lights and an overplanted median that is going to be expensive to maintain so that it doesn't become an eyesore of dead shrubs. And we're also going to have noise walls along there. Those MIGHT be appropriate for the LIE, but certainly not for 347 in Smithtown. Spare us these "improvements".
Earl February 04, 2013 at 06:50 PM
This project was a complete waste of time and money. Zero imrovements were achieved by this, other than to temporarily employ some construction folks. Traffic is not improved by any means, and I would even say is probably worse now that there are MORE traffic lights. We need to eliminate these lights to help the traffic situation. I knew this was a complete waste the minute I heard about this project.
Mitch Calabrese February 04, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Dave M., You hit the nail right on the head.
Steve February 04, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Money would have been better spent on building overpasses to keep the traffic moving
Dave M. February 04, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Speaking of solar panels, have you seen the parking lots at the County Building on Vets or the court building by the Police station off Old Willetts? I don't know how many millions were spent on the solar panels (and roofing to put them on), but all they appear to do is light the parking areas at times when the buildings are closed. Granted, there may be a month in late December/early January when the lights are on when the buildings are occupied til 5:00 PM, but what about the other 11 months? They are a total waste. Why aren't they tied into the LIPA grid so that they do some good. If they were, the lights wouldn't be blazing when there is not a single car in sight. More pork. Let's call our County legislators and find out how much this cost and who was responsible.
Ajw February 04, 2013 at 11:34 PM
The blacktop already has pot holes in it on the east bound side.
Nesconset Dude February 05, 2013 at 11:41 AM
WAAAAAHHHH!!!!!! The level of whining on this board is incomprehensible. For years I've been hearing "fix the roads". Now the biggest artery in the area is going to be 3 lanes and freshly paved, yet you still cry. Perhaps everyone should go and do a little research on this project before complaining. Narrow lanes are intended to slow traffic and the additional lights have crosswalks. Never see anyone at the bus stops? You hang out at bus stops? Really? Nothing better to do than monitor bus stops? Way too much time on your hands. Don't like the plantings? Yes, twisted steel dividers are much nicer. Oh, the plantinga are going to die? Once again, lack of research. Drought tolerant plants were put there for a reason. You folks don't leave Long Island much, do you? Go down to any state that's booming with development (Try NC for starters) and you'll see what they're doing in a place with PLANNED development. Maybe then you'll understand what's going on here. For once, you actually get to see and benefit from where your tax dollars are being spent (instead of someone's pockets getting lined). A lot of regressive ideas on this board.
Nick Klissas February 05, 2013 at 02:14 PM
NYSDOT should seriously reconsider building more underpasses and reducing the numbers of traffic lights as they move the project east. The Greenway concept as originally conceived was to eliminate traffic lights, not turn 347 into another Queens Boulevard! It's a big shame that they didn't put an overpass by route 111--I'll laugh/cry if the accident rate there doesn't go down.
We Heart Long Island February 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Local residence opposed overpasses so they were taken out of the plans.
We Heart Long Island February 05, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Nesconset Dude = Simpleton
EPG February 05, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I'd heard that there will be overpasses at bother 347/Middle Country Road and 347/Nicholls Road. I don't know if this is still part of the plan, but it would make a dramatic improvement in traffic flow.
Nick Klissas February 05, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Those were in the plan--but I think that the overpasses were the last things to be done in the project. And this project is going at the rate of about 1 mile every two years (considering that the road is about 16 miles long and... do the math)!
Fix the Left Turning Arrow Light February 05, 2013 at 05:26 PM
When traveling south on Route 111 at the Route 347 intersection, the left turning arrow light was placed too far right, and is mostly over the center line. It is very confusing when proceeding staright, and needs to be moved further left over the left turning lane.
pbug56 February 05, 2013 at 06:24 PM
This 'beauty' project is quite the bad, money pit joke. This first phase has wasted a fortune and will not do anything to smooth or improve traffic, just reduce visibility and create a dead plant eyesore in a year or two. Getting rid of the short extra lanes would have helped, building over and underpasses at major intersections would have helped, not having anything other then right turns at smaller intersections without any grade level intersection would have helped. Instead we get this mess. Hey Mr Andy Cuomo- before you pour more bucks down this sinkhole, fix this project!
Nesconset Dude February 05, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I think this first phase was a bit more complex than much of the overall project. It's supposed to take ten years (which in reality equates to about 15-18 years). The overpasses would take a bit of time as well.
Earl February 05, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Narrow lanes are only going to cause accidents, wait and see. The road is also not going to be 3 lanes. In small sections it will, as it already was, and all that does is cause more traffic slowdowns. The idiots that came up with this plan need to find a new career. As someone who has taken this route for more than 15 years every day, I can tell you it continues to get worse, and this project has done nothing to help, and will not until they eliminate a lot of the traffic lights. I get caught most mornings at 3/4 of the lights on this stretch of road, that does wonders for vastly reduced MPGs on vehicles, so way to go with a green project! Morons.
Bill March 19, 2013 at 07:47 PM
What a joke this project has been. 3 years to plant some shrubs and a couple bus stops along 2 miles of roadway? Who is running this project? There hasn't been ANY communication with area residents. For a long stretch of time it was an adventure on any given morning figuring out which route from Smithtown to the LIE would be impeded. Would it have been so hard to put a daily update on a website or maybe tweet the info? My favorite part of this improvement is the "calming effect" the new roadway will have.
Earl March 20, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I love the new lights also at the crosswalks on either side of Rt 111. As you approach the intersection, from a distance you can see a green and red light at the same time. Green for the walkway (which I can guarantee will never be used) and red for the intersection, That's not too dangerous now is it? I state again, morons that came up with this so called "plan".
swataz April 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Can't wait for the project to make my wife's commute a misery for the next year or so.
Dave M. April 15, 2013 at 12:37 AM
What exactly have we gained, except a raised median that has to be watered so it doesn't die? Somebody's making some big bucks on this boondoggle. Who???


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