Critic says roads will have to be closed to lay new cable

Wainscott Fears Deepwater Construction

Deepwater Wind officials vow that Wainscott roads will remain passable during the installation of power lines scheduled to begin in 2020 and take a year to complete.

But a longtime critic and Main Street resident said a recent federal filing reveals a much more labor-intensive process that will shut down residential streets and clog traffic.

“Contained in Deepwater Wind’s submission to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are specifications for 20 vaults which are similar in volume to a standard 40-foot shipping container. These vaults are to be constructed underground along the cable route right-of-way between Beach Lane and the substation in East Hampton,” wrote Simon Kinsella to members of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee.

“On Beach Lane alone, Deepwater Wind plans to install four vaults underground beneath the asphalt in the middle of Beach Lane between the beach and Wainscott Main Street. By way of comparison, the recent installation of water mains throughout Wainscott involved burying water pipes with a diameter of eight to 16 inches, which required digging a trench of about 24 to 40 inches wide,” he said. Kinsella added there was a good possibility that some residents would be blocked from their houses.

Clint Plummer, a Deepwater Vice President, said Kinsella is mistaken. “There are manhole covers in the road. That’s what they are for,” he said. “We’ve been absolutely upfront there will be some temporary road closures.” The original Deepwater plan filed with the Town of East Hampton assures one lane of traffic will be kept open at all times except for the occasional brief interlude when tractor-trailers are unloading something.

Further, the East Hampton Town Police Department central station is on Wainscott Northwest Road, the only direct access out is south to Montauk Highway. Police Chief Michael Sarlo acknowledged Deepwater hadn’t contacted him about a change in its original routing that would necessitate running the cable down that road, likely disrupting traffic and perhaps even temporarily closing the road. Almost all police vehicles use the road on a daily basis.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com