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Oct 7, 2014 9:20 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: PSEG Completed Tree Trimming On County Road 39

Oct 7, 2014 5:05 PM

UPDATE: 2:35 p.m.

Tree trimming along County Road 39 that caused traffic problems Tuesday morning and into the afternoon was completed and will not resume on Wednesday, as anticipated.

Originally, PSEG spokesman Jeffrey Weir said that because work was set to stop in the afternoon in response to the traffic congestion issues Tuesday morning, it might have continued on Wednesday.

Mr. Weir said there were still more tree trimming that needed to be done throughout Southampton Town, although he believed none would be on major roadways. He could not provide a time-frame for when the next one would take place.

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

Due to traffic concerns, PSEG said it would stop tree-trimming work along County Road 39 at 2 p.m., according to company spokesperson Jeffrey Weir.

Earlier Tuesday morning, the tree trimming—which involved the closure of the right eastbound lane on the highway—caused major traffic delays heading into Shinnecock Hills and beyond during the heart of rush hour. The work took place just after where Sunrise Highway merges into County Road 39 near the Lobster Grille Inn.

Traffic was backed up as far west as Hampton Bays.

The work, which started at 7 a.m., was part of PSEG's Tree Trimming Program and was planned so that the company could complete it in one day. However, Mr. Weir said that because work was expected to stop Tuesday afternoon, it might resume on Wednesday at noon if it was not finished on Tuesday.

“The whole idea was to compress the schedule and get it done to one day—one day of frustration and aggravation of traffic instead of doing it over multiple days,” Mr. Weir said. “But now, after some concerns that were raised, we are going to stop work today at 2 p.m. before the evening rush."

Mr. Weir said that unlike paving projects, tree trimming has to be done during daylight hours to ensure the safety of workers, as they deal with electrical wires and need to be able to see.

Mr. Weir said PSEG notified the Southampton Town Police Department and the Town Highway Department of the work on Monday. Representatives from the company had met with town officials a few months ago to discuss the trimming.

Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said that while she was not notified of Tuesday's work, she was aware that PSEG would eventually be conducting the tree trimming. She said the town welcomed the work to "keep our trees and limbs in good condition."

As for Tuesday's timing, the supervisor agreed with Mr. Weir.

"I guess they have to do it in daylight," she said. "I guess they weren’t aware of the traffic delays. We’ll look into that.”

Representatives from the police department and the highway department could not be immediately reached for comment.

Mr. Weir said that PSEG was aware of the congestion that often occurs along County Road 39, but he added that the work would have caused traffic problems at any time of the day.

“We live here, we work here, we’re part of the fabric of the community. We are aware of the traffic concerns, especially at the Sunrise Highway merge,” he said. “Yes, rush hour is bad. But traffic out there no matter what time of the day [is] stalled.”

Original Story

Traffic on Sunrise Highway was backed up from County Road 39 west to beyond Hampton Bays during rush hour Tuesday morning—due to tree trimming along the roadway.

An email sent by the Southampton Town Emergency Alerts system at 8:45 a.m.—the heart of morning rush hour—said that one eastbound lane would be closed while the Public Service Enterprise Group cut branches that were too close to power lines.

It was not known how long the lane would be closed. Representatives from Suffolk County and PSEG could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Brilliant thinking PSEG! NOT!
By JCPA (13), East Hampton on Oct 7, 14 9:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
Who's brilliant idea was to do it at that hour? Seriously - it made people in my office over an hour late for work! Thank goodness I come from the other direction but I sure felt for them!
By johnny'sgirl (3), southampton on Oct 7, 14 9:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
Who authorizes this stuff?!?!?!?!?
By goddessjlt (1), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 9:49 AM
Ask Suffolk County. They are in charge of the road & allowed it to happen.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 6:31 PM
This is an ignorant town. place sucks on so many levels.
By The Cramped ins (7), southampton on Oct 7, 14 9:49 AM
And NOBODY thought to put that little detail out to commuters before the middle of rush hour? Dang, PSEG ticks me off!!
By Kathy Whittaker (3), East Hampton on Oct 7, 14 9:50 AM
Typical example of ZERO coordination or communication between municipalities and utilities. And certainly ZERO thought or consideration of the hard-working tax payers simply trying to get to work!! Epic fail!
By EastEndWriter (5), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 9:58 AM
Brilliant timing PSEG
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 14 9:59 AM
Let's close the Eastbound Lane for tree trimming in the morning.

Hey...what time of day should we close the Westbound Lane to trim the other side of the street??
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 10:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
The best part is that the westbound work is scheduled for 4pm...
By The Cramped ins (7), southampton on Oct 7, 14 10:13 AM
So happy I left that brainless town behind. You people are so stressed out and maybe you don't even know how much. Try looking at your lives from a different perspective. The rest of the country doesn't revolve around the Hamptons! Yes you can move, get a new job and live for a change. That place is only for the wealthy and the servant class. Quit pretending it's anything like it used to be. You will be much happier!
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 14 10:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
So spot on...the maximum inconvenience for the maximum amount of people...And PSEG was supposed to be BETTER than LIPA. What a joke!
By nauti lady (25), Sag Harbor on Oct 7, 14 10:14 AM
They're the same. PSEG just rebranded LIPA. Same old machine.
By det7408 (7), Bridgehampton on Oct 7, 14 12:24 PM
On the PSEG website it says:

"We have designed a communications process to make sure elected officials and our customers know when we are trimming trees.
We meet with elected officials in towns and villages before tree trimming begins"

Can anyone find out if this was done?
By shocean (16), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 10:36 AM
4 members liked this comment
So typical ....why don't the elected officials hold the utilities feet to the fire?
By factfindr (5), southampton on Oct 7, 14 11:43 AM
And then there are the cops sitting there waiting for somebody to try and make an illegal turn to, what -- get to work on time? Capitalizing on everyone's misery...
By Mktngdoc (2), East Quogue on Oct 7, 14 12:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Town Board again is absent from real life concerns. Do you think any of them "oops" caught in traffic sit there like the rest of us? I'm sure the Town Board will hire another firm or something to do a million dollar study about working with other agencies under the pretense they give a crap. They just don't get it.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Oct 7, 14 12:34 PM
I'm no fan of PSEG but they do have a tree trimming schedule on their Site. It says August thru December for trimming in SH. Maybe our elected offals could go online & have a look themselves, then let the GP know what's scheduled? I know that's a lot to ask of Queen Anna and her merry band of idiots.......
By G (342), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 12:39 PM
PSEG = BRAINDEAD! Cost me an extra hour to go east today. Who thought this one up??? CR 39 is difficult enough in the mornings eastbound, this was just a major FAIL in the planning office. Really PSEG, if you want people to be on your side and have confidence in you, don't ever do anything foolish and inconsiderate like this again. Plan the work in the off hours!!!!
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Oct 7, 14 12:46 PM
So here what they should have done. Trim trees on Westbound side from 9AM to1PM and trim trees on Eastbound side from 11AM to 3PM. And my IQ is only 100!!
By sukie (5), sag harbor on Oct 7, 14 1:11 PM
I see one major flaw in your thinking. You used common sense.
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 2:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Gee just a little thougth would have helped. begin Eastbound after 11 am when the rush is over and work till its done. Westbound should start earlier and end by 2pm when the reverse rush begins.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 7, 14 1:22 PM
better to do it on the weekends
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 7, 14 1:32 PM
the weekends are no better, are you sure your from the east end??
By paulie83 (7), riverhead on Oct 7, 14 1:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
better to do it on the weekends
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 7, 14 1:32 PM
Glad Southampton sent out an EMERGECY ALERT at 845AM. That was sure to help all those who have to be to work at noon
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Oct 7, 14 2:42 PM
Love this quote from ATH:
"I guess they have to do it in daylight," she said. "I guess they weren’t aware of the traffic delays. We’ll look into that.”

Then this PSEG Quote:
“We live here, we work here, we’re part of the fabric of the community. We are aware of the traffic concerns, especially at the Sunrise Highway merge,”

The incompetence and indifference at all levels is mind numbing...
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Oct 7, 14 2:46 PM
3 members liked this comment
Well, if we have a hurricane in the next couple of weeks, we wont have to worry about those branches creating power outages. Imagine if they were allowed to put up taller poles would there be a need for so much branch maintenance? Keep up the good work PSEG!...(I hope you remember the good word I put in and give me a discount on the 24% power supply charge you are planning for October).
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Oct 7, 14 3:15 PM
If this is your biggest problem of the day I'm happy for you...stuff happens
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Oct 7, 14 7:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
I give PSEG a lot of credit for the preventative measures they are taking this year and the same type of effort they put in last year. We just went through one of the most severe winters ever last year in the Hampton's. It was incredible. I would like to know who living out here lost their power for more than a short period. The answer is NO ONE. No days without power as in the past. Much improved from the year before and the year before that. Maybe they could have been smarter in this situation ...more
By Stolzr (11), Bridgehampton on Oct 7, 14 8:22 PM
This one is completely on PSEG----they have no sense of community relations. They mishandled the substation in Shelter Island, the tall poles in East Hampton, and now this.........they claimed they contacted the Town......but its a County Road, the fact is they just went out and did it........You don't have to be a scholar to realize you can't do this project during the trade parade..they just don't know the community...and don't care about learning.....expect more.....the Governor has given us ...more
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Oct 9, 14 2:41 PM
I've lived here for over 20 years and still feel its one of the best places to live in the country. The seasons are gorgeous,the locals are cool, you can make a decent living and get out of town when necessary. Yes, the over privileged selfie crowd and the non-stop traffic sucks but there's a overall level of intelligence, sophistication and an appreciation of the literary & the arts that I enjoy..PSEG made a big mistake in their scheduling and many of us were late and inconvenienced but like the ...more
By gonzorip (3), Southampton, New York on Oct 9, 14 4:04 PM
I called PSEG recently to report a broken pole with dangerously low hanging wires and was on hold for nearly 30 minutes then told to call another number because they dont handle that. These are their publicly published 800 numbers. After waiting another 10 mins on the second call a woman came on the line who had no idea where Hampton Bays was and though I gave her the intersection where the pole was, she told me that was no good that she needed a street address. I told her there was no house near ...more
By jim (48), hampton bays on Oct 10, 14 3:15 PM
Now that they are done trimming trees maybe they can install the net meter we've been waiting four months for.
By bird (829), Southampton on Oct 12, 14 1:19 PM