February 18, 2020

Labor-leaders-call-for-fixoakdale-merge.pngLICA, Labor & Leaders Call For Oakdale Merge Fix

The rainy weather and cries of “the merge is a mess!” only helped to illustrate the already dismal and intolerable traffic conditions that exist at the infamous Oakdale Merge, making it the perfect day to hold a press conference calling for a permanent fix. So, on Thursday February 6, LICA addressed the media to call on Albany and the legislature for $50 million to fund an environmental impact study (EIS) at the site, which is the critical first step required to securing a solution for the Oakdale Merge.

Surrounded with a strong show of support from labor partners at Local 138, IBEW Local 25 and Teamsters Local 282, LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst called for a swift solution to this decades-old problem. Numerous local elected officials and others in attendance also vowed to fight for advancement of this much-needed, long overdue project including:

  • Senator Monica Martinez
  • Senator Phil Boyle
  • Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino
  • Legislator Tom Cilmi 
  • Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
  • Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter
  • Islip DPW Commissioner Tom Owens

Prominent leaders from local businesses, developers and several civic associations also joined in support, as well as first responders from Bohemia, Sayville and West Sayville Fire Departments. Some spoke of the obvious quality of life issues (“the merge is a mess”) and loss of productivity while sitting in traffic. Business leaders described how it negatively impacts local businesses when congestion from the merge backs up onto local streets, it forces residents to seek alternative routes, reducing business potential by eliminating local “main street” vehicle and foot traffic which businesses depend upon. First responders then detailed the dangers of delays they face when on route to emergencies. Critical minutes are lost, impeded by impossible traffic at the merge –otherwise known to many locals as “malfunction junction.”

From the show of support and statements by various leaders and officials, as well as the many comments we received on www.fixoakdalemerge.comit is clear that solving this problem is a high priority for the 152,000 drivers who travel through this intersection daily. We must continue to demand that our state legislative leaders in Albany also make it a priority during this year’s budget negotiations. For a gallery of photos from the press conference, click here. Read more about it here or on social media. Or, read LICA’s official press release here.

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