Noticing Road Improvements on the East End? Thank the Local Wine Industry

If things seem to be moving a bit smoother while you’re in the car on Route 25 on the North Fork or on Route 27 on the South Fork, you can thank the craft beverage industry.

Thank them by way of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State’s Department of Transportation, which has invested $44 million to repave roads on Long Island’s wine trails. The work is part and parcel of the governor’s initiative to expand the craft beverage industry by easing regulations and creating promotional events and organizations like Taste NY and the Taste NY stores, of which there are now 65 including the rest stop on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills. (Cuomo’s initiatives are thoroughly outlined by Amy Zavatto in this story for Edible Manhattan.) There are now nearly 1,000 licensed breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries across New York, compared to 342 six years ago. The state’s wine industry generates more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits annually, including $408 million in state and local taxes. New York produces nearly 200 million bottles of wine each year, making it the third largest wine producing state in the country. An estimated 5.3 million people participate in wine-related tourism opportunities each year across New York.

For the roads, the state spent $8.1 million to resurface Route 25 from County Road 58 in Riverhead to Tucker’s Lane in Southold. A $6.9 million grant finished the job all the way to the Orient Point Ferry. On the South Fork’s Hampton’s Wine Trail, the state spent $7.6 million to repave Route 27 from County Road 39 in Southampton to Stephen Hands Path in East Hampton; $13.9 million to repave Route 27 from Route 114 in East Hampton to Etna Avenue in Montauk; $5.2 million to repave Flanders Road from the south circle in Riverhead to Bellows Pond Road in Hampton Bays; and $2.3 million to resurface Route 114 from Route 27 to Stephen Hands Path in East Hampton.

Statewide, Albany spent $214.8 million in upgrades to roadways, bridges and culverts for its 13 wine trails, which serve 182 wineries. In addition the state has 20 craft beverage and cuisine trails. The Long Island has a craft beverage trail, for which the state partners with Discover Long Island, a tourism promotion organization.

Upcoming state sponsored craft beverage events include Cider Week New York City starting October 20, and Craft Beverage Week next month.