Reconstruction of the Riverside traffic circle has been funded by the county legislature.

Legislators voted 16-1 to appropriate $4 million for the intersection improvement project. It will be funded by new borrowing. Eleventh District Legis. Thomas Barraga (R- West Islip) cast the lone dissenting vote on both the appropriations and bonding resolutions.

The project will enlarge and modernize the traffic circle to a two-lane rotary and improve the access points with the aim of improving traffic flow in the congested area near the county office complex and Riverhead’s Main Street business district. Its completion is incorporated into revitalization plans for Riverside which have been set in motion by the Town of Southampton with the adoption of new zoning for the area and grant applications to fund the revitalization effort, including the construction of essential wastewater treatment infrastructure.

Although originally slated to be included in the county’s 2016 capital projects budget, the Riverside traffic circle project was pushed back by the county executive to 2018. After an outcry from elected officials, civic leaders and residents, the legislature voted a year ago to restore the Riverside project to the county’s 2016 capital budget.

Yesterday’s vote authorized the borrowing and spending of the $4 million needed to complete it.

“This is the real deal,” said Flanders Riverside Northampton Community Association president Vince Taldone. “It’s very exciting to actually see the next step,” he said.

“This is the start of the Riverside revitalization project and something people will see right away. Not only is it a wonderful thing for today’s residents and visitors but it’s also a sign of what’s to come for Riverside. I’m thrilled and can’t wait to see the first of the bulldozers.”

Image: Google Earth
Image: Google Earth



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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.