Riverhead continues to explore green, sustainable ways of getting around town as construction of a new, federally funded alternative transportation path began this week.
The project kicked off Monday on Pier Avenue in Jamesport; funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the plan provides $3.158 million in Federal Highway Administration grant funds to design and construct a town-wide alternative transportation path that will enhance pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the Town of Riverhead.
“We acknowledge that the residents of Riverhead are facing rapidly rising energy costs and therefore, are searching for alternative, less costly and more environmentally friendly means oftransportation including bicycling, walking and use of mass transportation,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said. “This 100 percent federally-funded project will decrease reliance on motorized vehicles and provide residents and tourists alike a wide-ranging network to access the many attractions the Town of Riverhead has to offer.”
The path will extend from Enterprise Park at Calverton to Jamesport and connect businesses, schools, libraries, shopping areas, and recreation attractions, as well as existing bike and pedestrian routes.
The New York State Department of Transportation is administering the construction portion of the project bid awarded to New York Paving, Inc. from Old Bethpage, Long Island, New York, in the amount of $2.1 million.
Dunn Engineering Associates, P.C., of Westhampton Beach provided design services.
Over the course of the next few weeks work will include survey work, installation of construction signs and silt fences, asphalt saw-cutting, as well as other work, according to the DOT, with paving to follow.
The project is slated for completion by fall.
The DOT plans to distribute information to residents along River Road and Pier Road in Jamesport with properties near the construction activity as it progresses to provide advance notification.
Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, of the town's alternative transportation committee, said the project is in line with Riverhead's ongoing efforts to promote healthy and green options.
"The Riverhead alternative transportation path provides green transportation alternatives. Biking has become a fun and sustainable way to travel and explore Riverhead," Giglio said. "We are very appreciative of the federal funding and the New York State DOT administrative expertise that will allow completion of this project in an expeditious manner for the benefit of Riverhead and the entire Long Island region.”
Giglio added that the project will benefit the public by increasing transportation options and a new, healthy way to visit attractions and enjoy activities.
“It will increase our appreciation of the natural environment and provide a sense of place," she said.
On the federal level, Congressman Tim Bishop said he was pleased that the project has come to fruition. “Bringing federal resources to the table to help solve local problems is a top priority for me, so I am proud to have secured federal funding for this state-of-the-art alternative transportation network in Riverhead Town,” he said. "This visionary project will expand opportunities for exercise and convenient, energy-efficient transportation for residents and visitors alike, and marks an important milestone in Riverhead’s remarkable renaissance.”
Will you utilize the new transportation path to bike from Calverton to Jamesport? Do you like the idea of green transportation alternatives? Let us know in the comments section.