Fix infrastructure

File photo

Fix infrastructure

Story By: STAFF WRITER
10/18/2018


There have been a lot of promises made during this campaign season, and one can only hope that whoever is elected will follow through on all of those ideas expressed. One that should be on everyone’s radar is to repair our aging and dysfunctional infrastructure.

Here are a few suggestions for our reader areas.

First, our imperiled waterways need to be at the center of attention. Sewers are a must for the eastern end of Islip Town. In addition, several waterways that have caused severe flooding in neighborhoods will need to be dredged. One project is the Grand Canal in Oakdale.  New York State has plans in place to restore wetlands through flood control (drainage) and Suffolk County has the money to dredge the canal in 2021, something that is needed to ensure the state’s work is upheld. However, the canal dredging cannot be done until the entrance points to the canal are dredged. If that doesn’t happen, then neither can the canal work. Huh?  Shouldn’t funding be made available now to complete the necessary preliminary project so that the work in 2021 can be completed?

Here’s another major issue to consider: the Oakdale Merge. Need we say more?

Most in our reader area and beyond would agree that the Sunrise Highway Oakdale Merge just doesn’t work – never has, and left in its current state, never will. Morning and evening rush hours see cars backed up for miles just to make it beyond that junction in the road, which links Sunrise to Montauk Highway. Both are New York State roads. Several lawmakers have identified this issue in the past, but nothing has been done thus far to correct the problem. Funding, of course, is always a concern, but unless this roadway sees a dramatic drop in usage over the next few years the issue can only get worse.

And speaking of congested roadways, Sagtikos Parkway, another state road, is next to impossible to navigate at certain times of the day. It’s one of the few thoroughfares linking the north and south shores and the only such parkway on the eastern end of Long Island. This heavily traveled road is only two lanes each way. Heaven forbid the construction of the proposed mega-development known as Heartland, located just off of the parkway, which would only add to the congestion, making it a total nightmare. Regardless of whether or not Heartland is built, Sagtikos will need to be widened.

The infrastructure on Long Island in general is in serious need of restoration. However, if our local lawmakers can cut through the red tape holding up these important projects, it would be a major victory for them and for their constituents.