An ongoing project to bury utility wires, thereby removing obstructions to the ocean view at the gateway to Montauk, got a fresh infusion of cash that will help see the work through to completion, officials said.
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) touted a $250,000 grant that will help fund the $750,000 beautification project to place underground utility lines along Old Montauk Highway.
“The undergrounding of these utility lines not only beautifies one of the most iconic scenic vistas on Long Island, it is also another step forward in hardening our infrastructure in the face of climate change,” Thiele said.
The project supplements a private effort to bury utility lines along Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. Several phases of this effort already have been completed. Another round of state funding is expected next year, with the balance of the project funded by the town of East Hampton.
“Increasing energy resiliency by safeguarding our electrical supply lines underground is a critical step, in line with the town’s overall coastal resiliency goals as we work to mitigate the increasing effects of climate change,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.
Both officials credited Montauk resident John Keeshan for spearheading the idea. He has advocated for this project for more than a decade. The more extensive Old Montauk Highway underground utility line project is being led by Montauk resident Dan Cahill.
“I believe in leaving the world a little better than you found it,” Keeshan said. “I love Montauk, it’s been my home for over six decades. Now, when you drive into the gateway of Montauk, the natural open vista of the Atlantic Ocean will be here to greet you.”
-With Desirée Keegan