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PSEG, Supervisor to talk about cable project Friday

 

REPORTER FILE PHOTO |  LIPA contractors running pipe at Crescent Beach into a tunnel under the bay bottom  in August. The work was abandoned in October.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | LIPA contractors running pipe at Crescent Beach into a tunnel under the bay bottom in August. The work was abandoned in October.

Six weeks after Islanders were told they could expect work to begin again on new electrical cables linking Shelter Island to Greenport, a conference call is scheduled for Friday afternoon to update Supervisor Jim Dougherty on where things stand.

The call with personnel from PSEG, who took the reins from the Long Island Power Authority on January 1, will include Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. and Police Chief Jim Read.

“They regularly share proprietary information with me, Jim and Jay,” Mr. Dougherty said, indicating he expected it would likely include plans and “possible snags” to getting the project restarted.

PSEG spokesman Jeffrey Weir has twice now refused further comment on the project’s progress pending a conversation with Mr. Dougherty.

Mr. Dougherty has promised a statement on Friday afternoon following his conference call with PSEG.

The cabling project, originally handled by LIPA subcontractor Bortech, broke down last August when a 4,000-foot-long underwater conduit slated to carry a cable from Crescent Beach to Greenport had a drill bit snap just 500 feet from shore. Efforts to wrest the broken drill bit pieces failed and LIPA ultimately fired Bortech last October, promising that a new contractor would be hired and begin work by January 1.

Mr. Dougherty, who last year had been promised the work would be done by April 2013, has again issued a statement indicating he wants work completed before the summer season this year.

“Last year’s abortive attempt during our peak tourist season created great difficulties that we do not wish to repeat,” he wrote PSEG in January.

The cable problems surfaced in the wake of Superstorm Sandy when one of the aged cables connecting the Island to the Greenport substation failed. LIPA made the decision to put in two new cables by early in 2013. The Island also has one cable from Sag Harbor, but that doesn’t have the capacity to provide electricity to the entire Island.

 

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