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Greenport-to-Heights cable takes a big step forward

PSEG cable project

A renewed effort to dig a tunnel to house electrical cables between Greenport and the Island could be under way by November 1.

PSEG representatives have presented a document to Greenport Village, the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC) and the Town of Shelter Island, asking for easements to the power company for the “construction of a submarine electric transmission cable system.”

The three entities have until September 7 to file objections with the New York State Commissioner of General Services for the tunnel project that would start in Greenport and come ashore in Shelter Island Heights.

The town is all in favor of the project, since it will ensure the Island would have reliable electrical service. There’s currently a single working cable that connects the Island to the North Fork. An attempt at a cable project undertaken in 2013 by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) lasted for months with numerous delays until the power company called it off.

A member attending an HPOC meeting August 20, reported that Lois Cohen, president of HPOC, was in agreement on the main points of the deal and “hopeful it will go forward.”

Greenport Mayor George Hubbard said Wednesday that he received the request for easements late last week and has not had a chance to review it with his colleagues, but, “as it stands, we’re generally in favor of the project.”

Greenport saw a neighborhood disrupted during the ill-fated attempt to drill a tunnel three years ago from Crescent Beach to the village, when the power company had to relocate a number of residents because of the noise and dirt the project generated.

Construction would start in Greenport, by November 1, according to Supervisor Jim Dougherty, who met with a PSEG official at Town Hall this week.

Mr. Dougherty said the PSEG official told him the project would begin deploying equipment in Greenport after the Columbus Day weekend on October 11.

Photo: Equipment rusting at Crescent Beach in the wake of LIPA’s failed tunnel dig in 2013. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)