Hauppauge and Smithtown homeowners have been given the opportunity to educate themselves on the Route 347 greenway project before casting their votes on its future construction.
New York State Department of Transportation will be holding an information meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6 for roughly 90 homeowners whose lives will be directly impacted by the next phase of Route 347 construction, from Route 111/Wheeler Road east to Mount Pleasant Road.
Eileen Peters, spokeswoman for the DOT, said the informational meeting will discuss the potential of building sound barriers along Route 347 as the expansion movies eastward.
The Route 347 greenway project broke ground in Aug. 2010, as an effort to turn the North Shore artery into Long Island's first greenway. The design is to expand Route 347 to three lanes traveling in each direction, with a shared-use pedestrian and bike lane along the south side to encourage eco-friendly modes of transportation.
"We do very involved sound studies and noise test analysis, and we identify which homes would be affected by the change in sound level once the project is completed," Peters said.
In the summer of 2010, Brookside Drive residents were given the opportunity to learn about the Route 347 greenway project at a similar meeting and voted against the installation of sound barriers.
"What we have found, over the years, is it's very much a personal decision. Some people support the sound walls, others don't," Peters said.
Residents who attend Thursday night's meeting will be allowed to view conceptual drawings of what the Route 347 expansion will look like if nothing is done, with plantings, and if the sound barriers are constructed. Homeowners will then have until Sept. 26 to mail in their vote.
The New York State Department of Transportation needs to have all the preliminary conceptual and environmental work completed before moving forward, according to Peters.
For those unable to make the meeting or were unaware of it, Peters said the full presentation will be made available on the DOT's website within a few days.
Residents who were impacted by the first phase of construction are welcome to attend the meeting, but will not be given any say or vote on the construction of the sound barriers.