Editorial: Another hurdle passed and a job well done

Work was completed March 27 on the Mattituck Inlet dredging project. (Credit: Carrie Miller)
Work was completed March 27 on the Mattituck Inlet dredging project. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Most anytime a civic endeavor requires cooperation from the federal government, there will be plenty of bumps in the road to completion.

It’s only after a project is finished that it can be called a success. We’ve seen too many examples of situations in which the public was promised one result, but was forced to settle for another — often something far less than ideal.

That the Army Corps of Engineers has finally finished its long awaited dredging of Mattituck Inlet — a project 15 years in the making — is welcome news for area residents, recreational boaters and commercial fishermen.

The project, which required a month’s worth of extensions, stands as an example of how unanticipated obstacles can get in the way even after the scissors clip the red tape.

As that first deadline loomed, engineers found that dredging the inlet to the planned depth and width had not generated enough material to give homeowners the 100,000 cubic yards of sand they’d been promised. To do that, engineers had to dredge three feet deeper — to a depth of about 14 feet below mean low tide.

When work along the shoreline was finally completed last Thursday — the actual dredging stopped three weeks earlier — a total of 98,242 cubic yards of sand had been moved to the beach, Congressman Tim Bishop said.

The residents’ concerns had been satisfied the old-fashioned way — through a productive dialogue with government officials and cooperation from Mr. Bishop and the Army Corps of Engineers — and not through a court of law.

Ron and Doris McGreevy of Mattituck, who have spearheaded this effort for the past 15 years, have said they believed in the system, even though it took so long to get to this point. They were right.

Their concerns could have fallen on deaf ears in D.C. They could have sued to get the project completed. In the end, though, they didn’t have to.

It’s not often enough these stories have a happy ending. When they do, the parties involved deserve the proper credit.