Governor Approves Riverside Traffic Circle Land Swap

Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved legislation permitting the Town of Southampton to swap land with Suffolk County in order to enable the county to conduct improvements at the traffic circle.

The bill was introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor and in the Senate by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle of Port Jefferson.

Thiele said the traffic circle is a very busy and dangerous location where five major roads intersect.

“The current configuration results in considerable traffic delays and traffic congestion on all approaching roads,” he said. “There is also a high incidence of rear-end collisions.”

According to Thiele, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works examined the corrider and after considering more than 20 possibities concluded that a parcel owned by the town would be needed to carry out a reconfiguration that improves safety and reduces congestion.

In exchange for the town-owned parcel, the county has agreed to give an abutting parcel.

“The county parcel is twice the size of the town parcel and would be dedicated to park use by the town,” Thiele said.

LaValle added, “This was yet another example of different levels of government coming together to resolve one of our greatest priorities–safe roadways.”

The landswap will require a public referendum to proceed.

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