Governor Kathy Hochul announced that work is being suspended at three Department of Transportation construction sites on Long Island ahead of summer’s unofficial start on Memorial Day Weekend to ease travel conditions for beachgoers and travelers throughout the summer months. These project locations, which include the drawbridges on the Loop and Meadowbrook Parkways in Nassau County and the Shelter Island South Ferry dock in Suffolk County, are located in the heart of Long Island’s festive summer season.
“Visitors from across the world come to Long Island to enjoy our world-renowned beaches, scenic wonders and tourist attractions,” Governor Hochul said. “By pausing construction this summer on these projects, we are ensuring that residents and visitors spend less time in their cars and more time enjoying these attractions with family and friends.”
Loop and Meadowbrook Parkway Drawbridges
Traffic patterns are returning to normal at two historic bridges undergoing extensive enhancements. A $13.1 million project has been in progress since last fall installing new galvanized steel bridge decks on the Loop Parkway drawbridge over Long Creek and the Meadowbrook State Parkway drawbridge over Sloop Channel, both in the Town of Hempstead. The new riding surfaces will improve the reliability and resiliency of these structures to extend their service life.
Over the past seven months, the Loop Parkway’s eastbound span and the center sections of the Meadowbrook Parkway’s two spans were both completed.
Traffic shifts will be reestablished in mid-September as the DOT works to finish the remaining segments by the spring of 2024.
The bridges were built in 1934 and are vital to beachgoing travel and South Shore commuters.
Shelter Island Ferry Plaza Reconstruction
The DOT’s reconstruction of the southern approach to Shelter Island’s South Ferry on State Route 114 in the Village of North Haven is also taking a break for the summer. Elevating the road to meet the ferry’s new dock elevation, construction of new bulkheads, raising a nearby parking area, and additional drainage work to improve resiliency against flooding are part of the scope of the project.
Preliminary construction work of this $1.2 million project as well as utility clearance began late in 2022. Major work will resume in the fall with full completion expected in the summer of 2024.
The Shelter Island South Ferry has transported people to and from Shelter Island since the 1790s. It began using rowboats across the Shelter Island Sound and has grown through five generations of family ownership into a thriving company with three ferries. It has been listed on New York State’s Historic Business Preservation Registry since 2022.
Traffic Circle Navigation Guidance
Motorists driving to either Jones Beach State Park or Robert Moses State Park this summer will encounter a traffic circle located around the water tower in the center of those parks. These circular intersections direct vehicles counterclockwise, helping traffic move smoothly while reducing congestion.
Drivers are reminded of these important rules of the road:
- Watch traffic signs and pavement markings to determine the correct lane to be in before entering and while navigating through the circle.
- Traffic in the traffic circle has the right-of-way.
- Vehicles wishing to enter should yield to traffic, which approaches from your left.
- Do not change lanes within the traffic circle.
- As you near your exit and while exiting, use your right turn signal.
The same tips apply to all roundabouts and traffic circles located throughout Long Island, most notably on the East End.
New York Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Long Island, with its world class beaches, has a booming tourism industry and our goal is to help communities and businesses continue to flourish this coming summer. We are pleased to provide motorists a break, and we’ll be back at it when the sounds of summer are firmly in the rearview mirror.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and here on Long Island, with our world-class beaches and abundant outdoor recreation, we like to soak up every bit of sunshine with our friends. I would like to thank governor Hochul for suspending construction to make it easier for our residents to enjoy all that summer in Suffolk County has to offer.”
Discover Long Island President and CEO, Kristen Reynolds said, “Long Island’s iconic summer season drives our $6.3 billion tourism economy by attracting visitors from across the globe to experience what Long Island locals enjoy in our backyard. The Governor’s plan to suspend roadwork during the summer will help alleviate the burden that our roadways often experience during this peak travel time and will provide a more enjoyable Long Island summer for visitors and locals alike.”