This week in history: Finally, a bridge to Connecticut — or not

FILE PHOTO | South Ferry photo taken in 1988.

FILE PHOTO | South Ferry photo taken in 1988.


Will seek bridge study

With cancellation in 1963 of ferry service between Orient Point and New London, Connecticut, then state senator Elisha Barrett and assemblyman Perry Duryea were pushing a plan for a Suffolk to New England bridge. The theory was that such a bridge would spur economic growth in Suffolk County. The plan was for a study to be funded by New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island

POSTSCRIPT: We can only imagine that Shelter Island residents would join those on the North Fork in shuddering at such a suggestion. As it is, despite its convenience, there are those who object to the Cross Sound Ferry’s effect on North Fork traffic.


Slick situation probed by state

Reports in December 1978 of a serious runoff of oil into Coecles Harbor brought New York State Department of Environmental Conservation inspectors to Shelter Island. Turns out the Highway Department had elevated the second Ram Island causeway and applied a mixture of penetrating oil and road oil. Heavy rains had washed away a sand topping, allowing some of the oil to drain into the harbor. After inspection, the DEC announced the problem wasn’t serious and no further action would be necessary.


Ferry group proposes $5 cash fare

A Shelter Island Ferry Study Group that functioned in 1988 suggested that both North and South ferry companies adopt a straight $5 cash fare for residents that could be used for either a one-way or same-day roundtrip. At the time, residents were paying $4.50 for a one-way trip and $5.50 for a same-day roundtrip so the result would be a 50 cent raise on the one way fare, but a 50 cent savings on a roundtrip. The suggestion at the time was that the same arrangement apply to non-residents on the theory that most of them would be paying a higher fee for a one-way trip, using the Island as a bridge between the North and South forks.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, both ferry companies have discounts for Island residents that they extend to those who may not live here, but work here.


Nobody wants MD center job

It might appear to be a headline out of today’s news, but in December 2003, it wasn’t the search for a doctor to serve the Shelter Island public. Rather, it was a search for a contractor to take on the work of renovating the town’s medical center to provide handicapped accessibility to the bathroom, greater storage capacity and improved efficiencies of operating the practice there.

The work was budgeted at $83,000 with money coming from the Gladys Brooks Foundation, but architect Fred Stelle told the Town Board he was “stumbling finding somebody to do the work.” Four contractors he contacted — three of them from the Island — declined the job while a fourth form off-Island came in at costs beyond what the town could afford.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s search goes on for a doctor to staff the town medical center with the possibility that Winthrop Hospital might ultimately agree to take on the challenge. Island Urgent, which operates medical practices throughout Long Island, was the most recent organization staffing the medical center.