PSEG Long Island began a 10-month circuit reliability project in Great Neck Plaza and Great Neck Estates last month in hopes of strengthening the area’s energy grid against severe storms and power outages.
The project involves contractors working on certain roads to replace electrical wires, installing more durable power poles, adding new switching equipment and moving some main line wires underground to reduce how many people are affected by an outage.
“PSEG Long Island works hard every day to ensure customers have the most reliable and resilient electric service possible,” John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of transmission and distribution operations, said in a statement. “Undertaking this FEMA-funded project in North Hempstead means even more Long Islanders will be served by equipment that can withstand extreme weather and provide the exceptional service our customers deserve.”
The upgrades affect 0.8 miles. Among the areas to be affected are Bayview Avenue between Glenwood Drive and Cedar Drive, the north and south forks of Hillcrest Drive intersecting Bayview Avenue, Elm Street between South Drive and South Middle Neck Road, Hillside Avenue between Elm Street and a dead end, and Cutter Mill Road between Ash Place and South Middle Neck Road.
Crews will also move main line wires underground along Bayview Avenue between South Drive and 37 Bayview Ave., South Drive between Bayview Avenue and Maple Drive, Maple Drive between South Drive and Myrtle Drive, Myrtle Drive between Maple Drive and Sycamore Drive, Sycamore Drive between Bayview Avenue and Myrtle Drive, Magnolia Drive between Myrtle Drive and Gateway Drive, Cedar Drive between Magnolia Drive and Myrtle Drive and Gateway Drive between Magnolia Drive and 19 Gateway Drive.
Ted Rosen, the deputy mayor of Great Neck Plaza, said he hasn’t seen an “undue impact” on the village so far from the project and described it as “overall a good thing.”
“We certainly have had our share like everyone else of power outages out in Nassau County, where you have most of the lines above ground,” Rosen said, recalling Superstorm Sandy and another power outage several months ago. “So anything that PSEG does, within reason, to try and make the system more resistant to those kinds of interruptions is a good thing.”
Rosen also added that Mike Sweeney and Joe Diaz, the commissioner for public works and building inspector, respectively, have “a good amount of experience in those projects” if any streets have to be closed.
The exact cost of the project is unclear, but the money comes from more than $729 million of federal recovery funds secured for the Long Island Power Authority.
The work in Great Neck Plaza and Great Neck Estates is the latest in a string of upgrades for the Town of North Hempstead, with projects ongoing in the villages of Sands Point, Manorhaven, Port Washington, Port Washington North, Baxter Estates, Mineola, East Hills and Roslyn Harbor.