LIPA drilling expected to be complete this week

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | LIPA workers dragging one long pipe with a back hoe Monday afternoon up Goat Hill toward its destination at Crescent Beach on Shelter Island.

Long Island Power Authority contractors began pulling 27 sections of fused pipe, each 400 feet long, with a back hoe up West Neck Road on Shelter Island Monday morning.

By 2 p.m. the pipe was about halfway between New York Avenue and West Neck Road, stretching to the sixth green of the Shelter Island Country Club.

The project, when completed, will provide another source of power coming from the North Fork to the Island.

With the expectation that drilling under the bay from Greenport to Crescent Beach will be completed this week, workers are poised to test the hole to ensure there are no areas that could cave in when they begin feeding pipes through the conduit.

The tests are done with a mechanical device that goes through the hole and photographs the area that runs for about 4,000 feet between the Island and the North Fork. That process should take about a week.

Once the pipes are in place, a device will be fed from the Greenport side to act as a pulley, gradually guiding the piping into and through the hole. But before the pulling begins, liquid will flood the narrow tunnel to protect the integrity of the piping from friction and enable it to float through to the other side. Once the piping is in place, workers will be ready to install the electrical cables that will feed power from the North Fork to the Island.

When the cables are in place, there will be a brief period of splicing and testing lines to ensure they are working properly.

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