This story has been updated.
The familiar entrance to Jones Beach is being taken down in an improvement project.
Work is underway on $3.9 million project to create a more welcoming approach to Jones Beach said the April 26 announcement by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The project will demolish an abandoned toll plaza on Meadowbrook Parkway and build a monumental gateway sign to welcome visitors to Jones Beach State Park.
Use of the eight-lane toll plaza and brick office building, built in 1953, was discontinued in 2017.
The project will eliminate the derelict structures at the park gateway and help improve traffic flow. Temporary lanes will be constructed to divert traffic around the plaza while the work is underway in early June.
Hearing the news, some Jones Beach area residents felt nostalgic.
"I remember sitting in long lines waiting at those toll booths in the '70s and '80s," Theresa O'Connell of Wantagh said.
"I do think it's a good idea to take them down now because all the traffic has to move over to the extreme left to get around them. I wish the Welcome to Jones Beach Sign could stay though."
The project also includes new traffic pavement markings, signage, stormwater drainage improvements, site restoration, and a realigned entrance onto the Loop Parkway, said the Governor's release.
Project completion is expected in September 2019.
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