Bogged down by weeks of strong winds, dredging crews working on the massive beach nourishment project under way in Sagaponack still have 10 to 12 days of pumping left ahead of them before the project is completed.
Even if the weather is largely cooperative, it could take the dredge Illinois and the on-shore crews an additional two weeks to extend the widened beach along the approximately one mile of shoreline it has left to complete.
The Illinois remained moored in Shinnecock Bay on Wednesday morning, where it was protected from the windy conditions, but was expected to be back in the ocean off Sagaponack later in the day to begin pumping again, with three days of calm winds in the forecast.
The project, which will have pumped more than three million tons of sand onto a six-mile stretch of beach by the time it is completed, was due to have been done by December 31, according to contracts with Southampton Town. But weather delays in November and December have pushed the target completion back by weeks. Nonetheless, town officials have said they are happy with the rate of pregress of the work by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, the company that owns the Illinois.
When it is finished in Sagaponack, the dredge is due to immediately move to the area west of Shinnecock Inlet and then to West Hampton Dunes Village to tackle large beach nourishment projects there.