The following comments were submitted on September 16, 2020 to the New York State Department of Transportation. Interested in supporting The Foggiest Idea’s award-winning reporting and analysis? Click here.

To Regional Director Joseph Brown, Deputy Regional Director Rich Causin, Job Manager Bhavna Makadia, Director of External and Government Relations Meg Danielson, Design Unit Supervisor Pragna Shah, and Public Information Officer Stephen Canzoneri –

My name is Richard Murdocco, and I am writing to urge the New York State Department of Transportation to include the elimination of the grade crossing that is found at the intersection of NYS Route 347 and NYS Route 25/Middle Country Road as part of the broader scope of the NYS Route 347 Safety and Mobility project.

As part of the research process for its award-winning body of analytical and reported work on Long Island’s land use and development issues, The Foggiest Idea regularly reviews infrastructural improvements being considered by policymakers that directly impact Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

For decades, movement of traffic on both NYS Route 347 and Middle Country Road has been significantly bottlenecked by the long red light cycles between these two main arterial roadways. Unless the transformative redevelopment of Nesconset Highway includes the elimination of this grade crossing, the effectiveness of the NYSDOT’s efforts to improve overall traffic flow in western Suffolk County will be significantly diminished.

Thanks to the ample availability of right-of-way at the intersection’s location, the NYSDOT can effectively construct a new grade crossing at this location with minimal impact on surrounding homes and businesses while at the same time improving traffic conditions across multiple townships.

With the state seeking to begin construction for the next phase of transformative redevelopment of the route next year, now is the appropriate time for the NYSDOT to work with local stakeholders and elected officials in order to lay the political and economic groundwork for the much-needed elimination of this intersection.

As you are well aware, transportation planners at the local, county, and state level have long argued for the elimination of key grade crossings found at both this interchange, as well as where NYS Route 347 intersects with Suffolk CR 97/Nicolls Road within the bounds of the Town of Brookhaven. As the project progresses, it would be prudent for the DOT to make necessary accommodations at the Stony Brook location as well.

I look forward to following the DOT’s progress on this project, and would be happy to discuss my recommendations further as needed.

Sincerely –

Richard Murdocco
The Foggiest Idea Inc.

Pictured: The intersection of NYS Route 347 and Middle Country Road/Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown. For decades, transportation planners have argued for the placement of an overpass at this location to alleviate traffic congestion. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)