This 2003 photo shows the southbound Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road (Suffolk CR 111) -- also known as Captain Daniel Roe Highway -- just north of Riverhead-Moriches Road (Suffolk CR 51). (Photo by Eric Smith, www.expresswaysite.com.)
CONNECTING DEFENSE AND INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES: In 1964, a dotted line between Mount Sinai and Westhampton first started to appear on Suffolk County planning maps. The four-lane divided highway, Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road, was proposed as a limited-access highway proposal in the 1970 Nassau-Suffolk Regional Planning Board transportation plan.
The proposed CR 111 was well suited for the defense-industrial economy that was developing in Suffolk County in the 1960's. According to some transportation officials, the highway was to provide quick access from Port Jefferson Harbor (a deepwater port) to Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve (Grumman) Plant, and Suffolk County Air Force Base (now Gabreski Airport) in Westhampton Beach.
From the mid-1960's to the mid-1970's, Suffolk County purchased land for the CR 111 right-of-way, which was to run along the following course:
Beginning at the intersection of NY 25A and NY 347 (Nesconset Highway) in Mount Sinai, CR 111 was to follow the alignment of Canal Road and Whiskey Road through Coram and Middle Island, continuing eastward to a cloverleaf interchange with the William Floyd Parkway (CR 46) about one mile north of Middle Country Road (NY 25).
Continuing southeast, Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road was to border Brookhaven National Laboratory, cross Peconic River County Park and border the Grumman-Calverton facility before reaching the Long Island Expressway (I-495) at EXIT 70.
South of the LIE, Suffolk CR 111 was to continue on its current alignment through Manorville and Eastport to the Sunrise Highway (NY 27) at EXIT 62.
For its final two miles, Suffolk CR 111 was to continue southeast to the intersection of Montauk Highway (NY 27A and CR 80) and Old Country Road (CR 71) in Westhampton.
Only one segment of Suffolk CR 111, a four-lane arterial highway between the Long Island Expressway and the Sunrise Highway, was completed in early 1975. The completed portion of CR 111, which is also known as Captain Daniel Roe Highway, serves as an important link between I-495 (Long Island Expressway) and NY 27 (Sunrise Highway), or on a larger scale, between New York City and the Hamptons.
According to the Suffolk County Department of Public Works (SCDPW), the 5.2-mile-long Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road carries approximately 20,000 vehicles per day (AADT).
STOPPED THROUGH THE PINE BARRENS: The unbuilt sections of Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road were stalled for more than another decade. The most contentious segment of right-of-way was through three miles in Manorville, which included the Peconic River headwaters, the Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, and the Manorville Historic District. Rudolph Kammerer, the public works commissioner for Suffolk County, had not yet submitted environmental impact statements when he encountered opposition from the Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality, a non-profit organization opposed to Suffolk CR 111.
The tight budgets of the late 1970's slowed Suffolk County's road-building program to a halt. When the Long Island economy recovered in the 1980's, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works revived plans for Port Jefferson-Westhampton Road. However, it did not take long for the proposed route to become a lightning rod for environmental opposition. Most of the right-of-way went through the ecologically sensitive Pine Barrens region, where Long Island receives most of its drinking water.
In 1988, the Suffolk County Legislature designated the CR 111 right-of-way between Wading River Hollow Road in Ridge and the Long Island Expressway in Manorville as county parkland under Resolution 583-88, effectively killing the northern extension of CR 111. However, the county has reserved the right to make improvements to the existing Canal Road and Whiskey Road as traffic conditions warranted.
THE NEW NY 113: First, CR 111 should be extended to its original southern terminus in Westhampton Beach. Next, in order to alleviate seasonal traffic tie-ups, new high-speed ramps should be constructed at EXIT 70 on the Long Island Expressway, allowing for two lanes exiting I-495 east to CR 111 south, and two lanes exiting CR 111 north to I-495 west. In addition, new high-speed ramps should be constructed at EXIT 62 on the Sunrise Highway, allowing for two lanes exiting NY 27 west to CR 111 north, and two lanes exiting CR 111 south to NY 27 east.
In accordance with the 1970 Nassau-Suffolk Regional Planning Board recommendation, CR 111 should be transferred to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). After the transfer, CR 111 should be re-designated NY 113.
SOURCES: "Long Island Regional Transportation Plan," Nassau-Suffolk Regional Planning Board (1970); "Environmentalists Are Cited as Road Blocks" by Fred Tuccillo, Newsday (3/28/1975); "Just Like a Postcard" by Bill Mason, Newsday (3/28/1975); "The Master Plan: Blueprint for Brookhaven," Newsday (2/24/1988); "Highway Hopes That Faded" by Sidney C. Schaer, Newsday (11/05/1999); Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission; Suffolk County Department of Public Works; Suffolk County Planning Department; Peter Busacca; Daniel T. Dey; Nick Klissas.
Suffolk CR 111 and NY 113 shields by Ralph Herman.