Jul 30, 2014

Drag Strip Advocates Push For Sound Test at EPCAL

Offers to pay for test out of his own pocket.

Drag Strip Advocates Push For Sound Test at EPCAL

Drag racing advocates continue to lobby located at Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Marty Johnson, the founder and CEO of the Long Island Motorsports Association, said his vision for a drag strip at Enterprise Park at Calverton would provide an economic boon to Riverhead.

And, to quell fears of residents regarding potential sound impact, Johnson said a sound test should be commenced.

In recent weeks, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter has said one option for EPCAL could include a with a quarter mile track. But he added that the bottom line is that before any future use can be discussed for EPCAL, the subdivision process and environmental review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation must be completed first, including a sound test.

The DEC, however, does not require a permit for a sound test.

"A sound test at the runway would be a great way for the people to see the noise issue is nonexistent," Johnson said this week, adding that no permits are required for a temporary use at the parcel.  "Why not have a sound test at my expense and let people stand on Route 25 and strain their ears, trying to hear nothing -- the made-up, killer sound -- then everyone's fears can finally be put to rest."

His vision for the site, Johnson said, includes a drag strip and a road course at EPCAL in Calverton similar to what once existed in Bridgehampton and Westhampton.

The plan for a temporary strip, he said, would take little time to execute. Should all forces align, Johnson said his organization would like to rent the space and the space at least temporarily for drag racing. Jersey barriers, or concrete walls, would have to be set up; Johnson said the operation could be up and running in weeks. 

A season is approximately four to five months, Johnson said. The rest of the year, the facility would be quiet, with grass that was mowed and no chemicals or fertilizer used, as is done at golf courses.

A motorsports facility, Johnson said, would be a win-win. "You would now have the draw in your backyard," he said. "What better opportunity to do something positive for the town?"

Walter did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the sound test issue.

Would you like to see drag racing at EPCAL? Do you think a sound test is a good idea? Tell us why, in the comments section.

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