PSEG-LI subcontractor Carson Construction has succeeded where Bortech failed in 2013. The Lafayette, N.J. subcontractor completed pulling the first of three conduits through the piping from Shelter Island to Greenport, working thorough the night of Dec. 12 to the next morning.
PSEG Director of Communications Jeffrey Weir said it was done “safely and successfully” and while there is still much work to be done, he said he was pleased with the progress to date.
There are still lines that have to be pulled through the conduits, but he was upbeat as was Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis who said she saw the conduit come through on the Greenport side and was feeling optimistic about how the project has been proceeding.
Four years ago, Bortech, a Long Island Power Authority subcontractor, came within a few yards of completing this critical step, but ultimately had to abandon the project when a drill bit broke and couldn’t be removed from the piping.
The project to provide reliable electrical service to Shelter Island got underway in mid-October and has been proceeding smoothly. It is slated to be completed by mid-May 2018, in advance of the tourist season that typically gets underway on Memorial Day weekend.
Originally, there were three lines linking Shelter Island to a substation in Southold, but two failed, leaving a single aged line in place. Another line from the South Fork is stable, but has capability to provide power to only part of the Island.
Since the failure to complete the project in 2013, the Island has had generators in place during peak summer months in the event of a power failure, but that was never a long-term solution.
PSEG had suggested placing a substation on the Island, but locals visited a similar structure in Jamesport and returned to the Island to pronounce it unacceptable because of noise, dirt and general aesthetics. Although PSEG could have gone ahead with the substation idea, company officials preferred to find a solution that wouldn’t rankle residents.
The next step was a PSEG negotiation with Greenport Village that provides the village with a $30,000 easement fee and $1.3 million access fee to allow the cable to run to the Fifth Street Beach area before it connects with the Southold substation. The village also is getting an overhead circuit reinforcement from the Southold substation west of Chapel Lane on Route 25 to Silvermere Road to provide a more rapid return to service in the event its own electric company experiences a power failure.
PSEG has promised to repave Fifth Street in the village, which will be dug up to accommodate lines that are being buried.
Photo caption: Carson Construction employees at the Shelter Island Heights location where a tunnel from Greenport for electric cables broke through last month. (Credit: Julie Lane)