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Route 347 Construction Project Under Way In Hauppauge

Local Shop Owner Says Project Has Negatively Impacted Business

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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)A stretch of Route 347 in Hauppauge is closed as part of an ongoing $30.5 million safety and beautification project.

One lane will be closed to traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m on weekdays from Brooksite Drive to Route 111 until Oct. 4.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, F&M Printing is located behind orange traffic cones now dotting Route 347.

Owner Cathy Manwiller, who’s been in the same location since 1976, said the construction project seems never-ending and has hurt her business tremendously.

Construction begins on Route 347 in Hauppauge, LI, Sept. 26, 2013. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Construction begins on Route 347 in Hauppauge, LI, Sept. 26, 2013. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

“Now in front, you have dirt piles, cones. Who’s coming in here? It’s hurt all of our business, everyone is down,” Manwiller told Hall. “It makes it look like everything’s closed when they start piling dirt around. Plus, they have the whole other section down here with all their trucks and you can’t even get in down there. It should take me 10 minutes to get into work in the morning, it takes me about a half hour.”

Some residents said despite the traffic headaches now, they applaud the project.

“It’s definitely a good thing. They’re adding more room to the roadway, they’re adding a bike lane,” a bike rider named Rich told Hall.

“This was a very dangerous intersection, but now that they have it squared away with the light sequence and everything else, it’s much safer,” a driver told Hall.

The Route 347 construction project is slated to be completed in 2015.

Route 347 construction project map (credit: dot.ny.gov)

Route 347 construction project map (credit: dot.ny.gov)

The road handles some 70,000 vehicles every day and some say conditions are dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

“See this. It can kill you. We really need it on Long Island to have a better quality of life,” Louis Nigro said.

As the project made its way through Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown, the most populous towns in Suffolk County, motorists complained about signficant delays.

“We all sit in line and wait for hours,” one driver said, “They should do this work at night. Why can’t they do it at night?”

The state said that the pain was a part of progress and that schools, businesses, and emergency vehicles have all been warned that the first phase of the rebuild was underway.

Eric Alexander, a spokesman for Vision Long Island said that the state appeared to be creating smart, green, growth.

The work also includes a continuous third lane, reduced speed limits, new bus shelters, solar lighting, high visibility cross walks, raised planted medians, bike and pedestrian paths, and enhanced safety.

Officials told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan that they were doing their best to minimize the impact of the work on traffic flow.

“They are doing it incrementally so that the impacts will not be felt in every community at the same time,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellon said.

The state plans to conduct neighborhood outreach during each phase of the project which could last up to two decades.

For more information on the project, click here.

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