Neighbors: LIPA should start drilling somewhere else

10/07/2013 10:43 AM |
CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Equipment and a portable bathroom in front of the home of Robert and Celia Swing at the intersection of Island View Lane and Bay Shore Road.

CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Equipment and a portable bathroom in front of the home of Robert and Celia Swing at the intersection of Island View Lane and Bay Shore Road.

Days after the Long Island Power Authority fired the contractor installing an electrical distribution cable from Greenport to Shelter Island, neighbors inconvenienced by the noise from months of heavy drilling say they want to see the project moved to another location.

“I just don’t think they should think about the same location again,” said Greenport resident Celia Swing, who lives with her husband directly next to the drilling site at the intersection of Island View Lane and Bay Shore Road.

The $9 million project aimed at boosting Shelter Island’s power supply stalled in August when a when a piece of the drill rig broke off in the pipeline 500 feet from the Greenport shoreline.

LIPA, which fired Bortech, the subcontractor hired for the project, last week said work on the project will not continue until next year.

Ms. Swing said the residents of her street have already been impacted enough.

“Maybe a commercial area would be better because there is no point for them to do this [here] again,” she said. “It is such a hardship for the community and everyone has lost their beach. They have to look at other options. This is a gigantic effort and there is no simple solution.”

LIPA Chief Operating Officer John McMahon expressed regret for the way the project played out during a LIPA board meeting last week.

“It took longer than we wanted it to, and the impact of the residents in the area affected by construction was unfortunate and we regret that,” he said.

Ms. Swing said she has not yet heard from LIPA, but she hopes they will involve the community before the project picks up again next year.

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