DETOUR ALERT: Canal Road eastbound onramp for the Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays.

Please see "News" about an upcoming closure of the eastbound Canal Road onramp of the Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays.

Construction and detours in Hampton Bays.

Please see the "News" section for construction updates for the weeks of November 23, 2020 and November 30, 2020.

A brief message on COVID-19

PSEG Long Island is deeply committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and our communities. We ask that customers remain in their homes while crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with our crews, we ask that they practice responsible "social distancing" and remain at least 6 feet away to ensure the health of everyone involved. The contractor for this project has provided PSEG Long Island with its safety plan, which meets current regulatory requirements with respect to COVID-19, including social distancing measures.

We are leveraging the guidance of the CDC and state and local authorities in the areas we operate. At PSEG Long Island, we know that our customers rely on us to power their lives and businesses. We are doing our part in fulfilling this commitment.

New York State Public Service Commission approves the EM&CP.

PSEG Long Island received the Order Approving the Environmental Management and Construction Plan for the Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project. Please see the "Document Library" for the Order.

News & Events

  • 2020

Construction update for the Town of Southampton for Monday, November 23, 2020.

November 23, 2020.

The following is the construction update for the Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project for the Town of Southampton for Monday, November 23, 2020 and Monday, November 30, 2020.

Location of Work:  Sunrise Highway, Old Riverhead Road, the Canal Road eastbound onramp, and Suffolk County Route 51.

Description of Work: Access way development; cable pulling preparation; splice manhole and conduit installation.

Timeframe of Work: Daytime work hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Details of Work:  On Monday, November 23, 2020, crews will continue to develop the temporary access way in the grassy area south of the Sunrise Highway travel lanes in order to provide access to the new splice manhole locations between Quogue Riverhead Road and Riverhead-Hampton Bays Road (Route 24). Crews will be clearing vegetation, removing soils, and adding base materials for the access way. The work is planned for daytime hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and no traffic impediments are anticipated. On Monday, November 23, 2020, crews will be east of the Riverhead-Hampton Bays Route 24 interchange on Sunrise Highway, developing access and egress points at the Old Riverhead Road near Squiretown Road. The access ways will be developed for safe construction access, and include clearing of vegetation and paving. The work is planned for daytime hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). No traffic impediments are anticipated with this work. On Monday, November 23, 2020, crews will begin developing a similar access way at the Sunrise Highway bridge over Newtown Road near Newtown Court. Crews will remove vegetation, and begin grading the access way. On Monday, November 23, 2020, the Canal Road eastbound onramp to Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays remains closed. NOTE: Due to concrete panel work, the eastbound onramp will be closed to traffic until approximately Wednesday, November 25 at noon. Please seek alternative travel paths. Additional information to be listed on this website. Beginning on Monday, November 30, 2020, crews will be placing Splice Manhole 38.5 in the Canal Road near the Shinnecock Canal Bridge. For the week of November 30, 2020, Canal Road will be closed with detours to allow for the work. Crews will excavate the roadway, lift and place the new splice manhole, and restore the roadway. Finally, cable pulling and splicing will also occur during the weeks of November 23, 2020 and November 30, 2020. Cable pulling consists of using large spools to feed the new electric transmission cables through the splice manholes and into the newly-installed and existing underground electric conduits. This work will primarily be along Sunrise Highway, and will not impede traffic, with the exception of Monday, November 30, 2020, when crews will be pulling cable from Splice Manhole 4.5 to 3.5, which is along Suffolk County Route 51 north of Speonk-Riverhead Road. The work is planned for daytime hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Note: Crews will be working in the LIPA-owned right-of-way pulling cable during this timeframe as well. Cable splicing consists of workers, using a climate-controlled work trailer, working within it and below ground within the splice manholes, completing the splicing of the new electric transmission cables. The work is continuous, and lasts approximately six days.

Travel impacts: Work will be off of Sunrise Highway in the grassy area to the south of the travel lanes. Travelers should be mindful of construction activities. Single lane closures on Suffolk County Route 51 should be expected during cable pulling and splicing activities. Detours for the Canal Road work are posted on this website. Please see this website for more details when they arise. Questions: Contact us by hotline (631-315-3132); website (www.riverhead2canal.com); email (info@riverhead2canal.com).


DETOUR ALERT: Canal Road eastbound onramp for Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays.

November 16, 2020.

Road closure and detour planned for the Canal Road Sunrise Highway eastbound onramp.

Location of Work:  Sunrise Highway Canal Road eastbound onramp in Hampton Bays.

Description of Work: Placement of Splice Manhole 38.5A, and restoration.

Timeframe of closure: Monday, November 16, 2020 to Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

Details of Work:  Crews will be placing a new splice manhole in the center of the Canal Road eastbound onramp of Sunrise Highway beginning Monday, November 16, 2020. Due to safety considerations, the onramp will be closed throughout the construction until Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at noon.

Travelers are requested to use the detours marked in the vicinity, which include using Montauk Highway westbound to the Riverhead-Hampton Bays Route 24 interchange to travel eastward. Signs will be placed to alert motorists of the travel path.

Questions: Contact us by hotline (631-315-3132); website (www.riverhead2canal.com); email (info@riverhead2canal.com).


PSEG Long Island receives Notice to Proceed for the RTC.

May 21, 2020.
Please see the "Document Library" for the official Notice to Proceed for the PSEG Long Island Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project.


PSEG Long Island announced construction timeframe for Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project.

April 27, 2020.

PSEG Long Island is committed to delivering best-in-class system reliability by expanding electrical capacity to meet the needs of the communities it serves, today and in the future. This is especially true on the East End of Long Island, where demand continues to grow and upgrades to the transmission infrastructure are needed.

At times throughout the next year, you will see crews working in your area to strengthen the electric system by constructing the "Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project,” or "RTC.”

Project Specifics

PSEG Long Island will be installing a new, 138kV underground transmission cable from the Riverhead Substation in Riverside (just south of the Peconic River) to the Canal Substation in Hampton Bays (east of Canal Road).

The cable will be pulled through existing conduits that were installed in 2000 along an existing transmission corridor and under roads within the Town of Southampton. Currently, a single 138kV electric transmission line is operating between these two substations on this route.

To accommodate modern electrical standards, 39 new splice manholes will be placed adjacent to the existing manholes along the current route to separate the existing line from the new cables. This allows for safe and reliable operations of both transmission lines. Where the new splice manholes are located, trenching will occur to allow for short, new sections of conduit to be placed to connect the existing conduits to the new splice manholes.

Finally, new substation equipment will be added at both substations to allow for greater reliability and capacity.

Crews will generally be working with excavation equipment and cranes throughout the operations, and traffic control measures will be used to maintain safe traffic flow.

These upgrades will ensure that you and your neighbors receive safe, reliable electric power for years to come.

Project Location

The existing transmission line is approximately 16 miles long and is operated via underground conduits (pipes) and splice manholes (underground vaults), connecting the Riverhead Substation (Riverside) to the Canal Substation (Hampton Bays). The transmission line is entirely located in the Town of Southampton. They existing transmission line route travels south from the Riverhead Substation in a LIPA-owned transmission right-of-way to Route 51. The transmission line turns southwest and travels to Speonk-Riverhead Road, where it travels south to the overpass with Route 27, Sunrise Highway. The transmission line travels east along the shoulder of the eastbound travel lane until near Newtown Court in Hampton Bays, where it joins Gate Street to the Shinnecock Canal Bridge, where it crosses the canal using existing conduits attached to the bridge. The transmission line briefly follows Canal Road to the on ramp of Sunrise Highway, where it exits to the Canal Substation in Hampton Bays.

What is the timeline for the project?

Work is expected to take 14 months, beginning May 2020 and concluding in July 2021.

What are the work hours?

Crews are scheduled to work generally Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some Saturday work may occur during the daytime hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Night work from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. will occur along Speonk-Riverhead Road in order to expedite the activities to allow for free traffic flow. The night work will include road closures to allow for safe and efficient construction practices to be used. The road closures will be nightly for approximately six weeks, five days a week. The road will be reopened daily for daytime traffic, and weekends.

Is there trenching/excavation throughout the entire project area?

No. The trenching and excavation work will be focused in areas around the 39 new splice manholes. In areas between these vaults (1,000 feet or more) no excavation work will occur since the existing conduits will be left in place to be used for the new, second 138kV cables.

Will there be tree trimming?

Yes. In order to have safe work areas clear of obstructions, tree trimming/vegetation removal will occur in the areas near the 39 new splice manholes and access points to Sunrise Highway which will be generally located on the eastbound side. However, no vegetation removal will occur where existing conduits are undisturbed, which is the majority of the transmission route.

Will the project include new poles or pole replacements?

No. The work is underground through its entirety.

Will there be any power outages?

No. There will not be any outages related to this project.

Will there be any traffic interruptions?

Traffic control measures will be used on Route 51 to provide safe work areas for crews and motorists. Speonk-Riverhead Road will be closed, and detours used at night in order to allow for expedited and safe work practices, while giving free flow of traffic in daytime hours. It is anticipated that the closures will last for six weeks, five days a week, Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The road will be reopened for daytime use (5 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and will remain open on weekend. On Sunrise Highway, the work will occur on the southern grassy median area, thus not impeding regular traffic flow.

Do you have permission to do this work?

Yes. PSEG Long Island received permission under New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) Article VII law to perform all work associated with the project. On December 21, 2009, the PSC awarded the "Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need" for the RTC. On April 23, 2020, the PSC approved the "Environmental Management and Construction Plan" for the project, which gives the detailed plan for how it will be constructed. For more information on these approvals, please visit the document library below, or the PSC's website (www.dps.ny.gov) and, using the search function, reference case 08-T-1388.

A brief note on COVID-19

PSEG Long Island is deeply committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and our communities. We ask that customers remain in their homes while crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with our crews, we ask that they practice responsible "social distancing” and remain at least 6 feet away to ensure the health of everyone involved.  Any contractors that may be used for this project has provided PSEG Long Island with its safety plan, which meets current regulatory requirements with respect to COVID-19, including social distancing measures.

PSEG Long Island, like many companies, has robust business continuity plans and planning processes that predate the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the past several weeks, we have been reviewing those plans to ensure their effectiveness in this situation and are implementing them accordingly. In addition, we are leveraging the guidance of the CDC and state and local authorities in the areas we operate. At PSEG Long Island, we know that our customers rely on us to power their lives and businesses. We are doing our part in fulfilling this commitment.  For more information, please visit www.psegliny.com/covid19.

Whom can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions about this project, please contact our hotline via call or text at 1-631-315-3132, or email us at info@riverhead2canal.com.

As always, customer and employee safety is our primary concern. Please be cautious when travelling near our construction work zones.  


About the Project

Project Mission Statement:

PSEG Long Island proposes to install a new, 138 kilovolt (138kV) underground transmission cable through the "Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project" or "RTC" in an existing, underground conduit between its Riverhead and Canal Substations to address an important need within the electric grid. This second 138kV transmission cable is necessary to provide sufficient capacity on Long Island's East End given the growing demand for electricity in this area. As shown on the map, the Riverhead Substation is located south of the Peconic River and southeast of the intersection of Route 25 and Mill Road. The Canal Substation is on Route 27 about 0.4 miles east of Canal Road. Both substations are located in the Town of Southampton.

Benefits

1 Reliable Service

The new 138kV electric transmission cable will help ensure the continued reliable service to the East End of Long Island. With the South Fork load continually growing at an average rate of 2.5 percent per year, there is a need for a second 138kV supply from the Riverhead Substation to the Canal Substation.

2 Underground Construction

The new 138kV cable will be located entirely underground except for certain above-ground electrical equipment within the existing substations and where the cable crosses the Shinnecock Canal using existing conduits attached to the bridge.

3 Over Public Lands

Unlike many new electric transmission lines that are built mostly over private property, most of this 16-mile-long project will be located under roads and other public rights-of-way.

4 Existing infrastructure

Construction of the project, including 39 new splice manholes, will occur alongside existing underground electric transmission facilities in existing transmission corridors, primarily along Speonk Riverhead Road and Sunrise Highway in the Town of Southampton, thus minimizing impacts to residents and travelers to the area.

Permitting & Consultation Process

To construct the Project, PSEG Long Island will need, in addition to other necessary permits:
  • The Approval of an Environmental Management & Construction Plan (EM&CP) by the New York State Public Service Commission.
  • Federal approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • New York State approval from or consultation with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation &  Historic Preservation, and the New York State Department of Transportation
  • Consultation with Suffolk County, Town of Southampton, and regional authorities.

For information about the Article VII Application and related documents in this case, please access the PSC's website.

Document Library

Construction Process

Underground construction involves five key phases.

1. Splice Manhole Installation:

Underground manholes will be installed at intervals along the route to splice together underground cable.

2. Conduit Installation:

Crews will ready roadways and install an underground conduit in which the new cable will be placed.

3. Restoration:

Following the completion of manhole and rerouting existing conduit, excavated areas will be restored.

4. Cable Installation:

Underground cable comes on trucks specifically designed for the installation of underground cable. Crews will pull cable from one manhole to another along the Project route.

5. Cable Splicing:

Crews will set up a climate-controlled environment at each manhole location to splice the underground cables together. This activity is continuous for approximately one week for each manhole.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Article VII Process?
  • Is the public allowed to participate in this process?
  • How will the public hear about project news and updates?
  • What are the benefits of the Project?
  • Will you need to purchase new property to build this transmission line?
  • Can LIPA/PSEG Long Island use eminent domain?
  • What are EMF? Are they unsafe?
  • How does the Company account for environmental impacts caused by the Project?
  • What will be the traffic impacts of the Project?
  • Does the transmission line affect television or radio?
  • Can electric demand be met through alternative forms of energy production and conservation?
  • When will the Project be completed?

Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, entitled "Siting of Major Utility Transmission Facilities,” requires a full environmental, need and safety review of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major utility transmission facilities in New York State. Any proposed electric transmission line with a design capacity of 100,000 volts (100 kV) or more extending for at least 10 miles, or of 125 kV or more extending a distance of at least one mile, must submit an application to the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.

Article VII prescribes the content of an application, including a description of the project’s need, proposed and alternative locations, expected economic effects and studies of environmental impacts.

The applicant, Commission Staff, and any other state agencies or parties with an interest participate in a detailed process of reviewing the application and other subsequent information and materials submitted by the applicant and possibly other parties. The Commission makes the final decision regarding all Article VII applications.

For a complete description of the process, please refer to the Commission’s Article VII Review Process Guide at: Article VII Guide Web 9-14-16 Final.pdf (dps.ny.gov website)

Yes, the public is not only allowed, but encouraged, to participate in the Article VII process. The Riverhead to Canal Second 138kV Underground Cable Project (RTC) Article VII application was filed on November 24, 2008 and approved by the Public Service Commission on December 21. 2009. Following the submittal of the RTC Environmental Management & Construction Plan, there will be a 30 day public comment period.

The Commission proceeding reviewing the Project is Case 08-T-1388. Interested persons who wish to participate as parties in this case may file for party status. This may be done through the Commission’s web site. From the home page of the Commission’s web site (http://www.dps.ny.gov), a prospective party should click on "Search.” On the Search page, the "Search by Case Number” box should be filled in with the number for this case (08-T-1388). This will bring the user to the main Document and Matter Management ("DMM”) page for this case. On that page, the prospective party should click the button at the upper right labeled "Request for Party Status” to see a web page with instructions for the procedures to follow to become a party.

There are also a number of ways to give comments to the Commission:

  • Via the Internet or Mail: The public may submit comments to the Commission by email to the Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, at secretary@dps.ny.gov or by mail to Secretary Burgess at the New York State Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Comments to the Commission may also be entered directly into the case file for this matter by clicking on the button at the upper right labeled "Post Comments” on the main DMM page for this case (see above).
  • Via the Commission’s Toll-Free Opinion Line: Individuals may choose to submit comments to the Commission by calling the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This line is set up to receive in-state calls 24 hours a day. These calls are not transcribed but a summary is provided to the Administrative Law Judge who will report to the Commission.

All comments to the Commission should refer to "Case 08-T-1388.” All comments will become part of the record considered by the Commission. Comments will be accepted by the Commission throughout the pendency of this case. Also on the main DMM page for this case (see above), one can click on the "Public Comments” tab to read written comments to the Commission, and on the "Filed Documents” tab to see other documents such as the application and transcripts of public statement hearings.

PSEG Long Island also encourages our neighbors to contact us with their questions and concerns at any time. To maintain and promote an open and transparent permitting process, the RTC Public Outreach Team ensures that affected landowners and the public receive important project information, and the ability to ask questions and voice concerns.  We can be contacted:

The RTC Project Team will inform the public about key project milestones by mail or newspaper publication. Nearby landowners will receive status information from the RTC Project Team during the permitting process. They will also receive written notification prior to the start of construction, and as the stages of construction unfold, landowners will receive periodic updates. The RTC Project website (www.riverhead2canal.com) will continually be updated with the current project status and information.

  • The new 138kV electric transmission cable will help ensure the continued reliable service to the East End of Long Island. With the South Fork load continually growing at an average rate of 2.5 percent per year, there is a need for a second 138kV supply from the Riverhead Substation to the Canal Substation.
  • The new 138kV cable will be located entirely underground except for certain above-ground electrical equipment within the existing substations and where the cable crosses the Shinnecock Canal.
  • Unlike many new electric transmission lines that are built mostly over private property, most of this 16-mile-long project will be located under roads and other public rights-of-way.
  • Construction of the project, including 39 new splice manholes, will occur alongside existing underground electric transmission facilities in existing transmission corridors, primarily along Speonk Riverhead Road and Sunrise Highway in the Town of Southampton, thus minimizing impacts to residents and travelers to the area.

 

During the route development process for the RTC, PSEG Long Island and its contractors have worked to minimize the overall amount of new property rights it will require by using public rights-of-way to the greatest extent possible.

The exact scope of property rights to be acquired for this project will not be finalized until later in the permitting process. Currently, our assessment is that this scope of property rights will be quite narrow.

If you have any questions or concerns about the property rights acquisition process, please contact us via our hotline or website email (info@riverhead2canal.com).

LIPA and PSEG Long Island strive to resolve all real estate acquisition concerns in an amicable and mutually agreeable fashion when at all practical.

As a public authority, the Long Island Power Authority has the power to exercise eminent domain for projects such as the RTC. For this project, that power cannot be exercised until the New York State Public Service Commission has issued a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need and approved the Environmental Management and Construction Plan.

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are generated from a wide variety of sources, including transmission lines. We recognize that there is scientific uncertainty as to whether EMF have an effect on human health or not, but the New York State Public Service Commission has established guidelines for transmission lines like RTC, and this project will comply with them.

Moreover, the World Health Organization (or WHO) provides details and studies regarding the relationship between humans and EMF. The WHO is an independent non-governmental organization which has collected data from hundreds of studies regarding EMF, and has compiled its data on its website: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en.

The electric field from the RTC Project will be blocked by the cable shielding and will not be present aboveground. We conducted a model analysis of the anticipated aboveground magnetic field (MF) levels from the RTC Project during normal operation of the line. The results of the study demonstrate that the anticipated MF levels of the RTC Project would be well below the maximum levels allowed by New York State Public Service Commission guidelines.

Two of the primary environmental benefits of an underground transmission system are: (a) the ability to construct the system under public streets where we currently have property rights (overhead, even street-side, would force us to create a new cleared right-of-way at least partially on private properties); and (b) the reduced visibility of an underground system.

Exhibit 4 of the Article VII application details the consideration we give to the impacts and proposed mitigation for potential impacts on numerous important environmental resources, including: cultural resources; rare, threatened and endangered species; sensitive habitats including wetlands, contaminated or unique soils and water resources; and human health.

Please contact the RTC Project Team if you would like an electronic copy of Exhibit 4. 

Detailed design will incorporate environmental impact mitigation, which will be contained within the project’s Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP).

Traffic studies will be conducted to determine the potential impacts to the vehicular flow within the Project area. Traffic impacts will be minimized as much as possible to not disturb commuter flow, or the needs of emergency services. The RTC Project will work with the various municipalities to identify potential detour routes where applicable. Any detours will be published on this website prior to active construction in that area.

Electric transmission lines do not usually interfere with normal television or radio reception. In some cases, interference is possible at a location very close to the right-of-way, if the broadcast signal is particularly weak or an abnormal condition on the line.

Alternative forms of energy production and conservation are important parts of the electricity equation. But they cannot be relied on exclusively to meet the need for energy.

Construction is currently planned from April 1, 2020 to March 1, 2021. This schedule may vary based upon the Application, discussions with the PSC/DPS, as well as other entities and activities associated with the filing.

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