Construction aims to improve the area's ability to withstand storms without damage
More than five years after Hurricane Sandy wiped out electricity to more than 90 percent of Long Island residents, PSEG is making improvements to its power grids in the Town of Huntington.
PSEG Long Island announced Feb. 16 it will begin a four-month circuit reliability project in East Northport and Fort Salonga to replace existing wires, install more durable utility poles and move some of the main electrical lines underground. The work is expected to begin by the month’s end.
“PSEG Long Island works hard every day to ensure that its customers have the most reliable and resilient service possible,” said John O’Connell, vice president of transmission and distribution operations for PSEG Long Island, in a press statement. “Undertaking this FEMA-funded project in East Northport and Fort Salonga ensures that even more Long Islanders are served by equipment that can withstand extreme weather and provide the kind of service that our customers deserve.”
The project will affect approximately 3.25 miles along the following streets: 10th Avenue between Athens Court and 2nd Street North; Vernon Valley Road between Crest Drive and Fort Salonga Road/Route 25A; Dickinson Avenue between Vernon Valley Road and Laurel Road; Fort Salonga Road/Route 25A between Vernon Valley Road and Deauville Court; and Middleville Road between Fort Salonga Road/Route 25A and Highwood Drive.
“Our crews will be knocking on doors; if nobody is home then a door hanger will be left.”
In this area, crews will be replacing selected utility poles with new ones approximately 2 to 3 feet from current locations. The poles are approximately the same height but have a stronger base to prevent toppling during storms, according to PSEG’s public construction plans.
PSEG warned that local residents may experience traffic or temporary electrical outages as construction progresses. Notification will be given of any planned outages, said Jeremy Walsh, PSEG spokesman.
“Our crews will be knocking on doors; if nobody is home then a door hanger will be left,” he said. “As much face-to-face contact that can be done will be done.”
In addition, PSEG is also looking to move its main electrical lines underground in the following areas: 10th Avenue between Athens Court and Elwood Road; and Elwood Road between 10th Avenue and the electrical substation north of Pulaski Road.
The work is funded by more than $729 million of federal recovery funds received in a 2014 agreement between New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and tropical storm Irene. A breakdown of how money will be spent in East Northport and Fort Salonga was not available from PSEG Long Island,
according to Walsh.
This is the 14th section out of more than 35 circuits in the Town of Huntington to which PSEG has planned to make grid improvements. The order in which the improvements are made largely depends on when engineering approval is received, availability of necessary materials and understanding of the impact of construction traffic, Walsh said.
“We try not to inundate any single area with too many crews at once out of consideration for our customers,” he said.
Clarification: PSEG crews will be replacing selected utility poles on the specified routes but not all, as previously indicated. Story updated Feb. 22 at 1:16 p.m.