The story "Idea that wouldn't die" [News, Aug. 30] covers Suffolk County's idea to dig a tunnel or build a bridge across the Long Island Sound.

This idea has a torturous 50-year history of defeats. In 1965, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller killed an Oyster Bay location; in 1973, the state legislature repealed bridge legislation since no Suffolk County crossing would be able to pay for itself; in 1980, Gov. Hugh Carey rejected a $2 billion bridge crossing after a full year of study of the potential for additional commercial and industrial productivity on Long Island.

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The environmental impacts and reduction to quality of life on Long Island would be more significant today than 50 years ago. They include traffic, air pollution and disruptions for maintenance of the new roadways.

The county planners may only be "at step one of about 5 million," and proactively looking back at historic proposals may help them avoid these debacles. However, I fear that step two of this process won't be to stop wasting time and put these "plans" back on the shelf for another 50 years.

The planners should concentrate on the prudent and feasible projects for transportation, energy and preservation that abound on Long Island.

John T. Tanacredi, Rockville Centre

Editor's note: The writer is a professor of earth and environmental studies and director of the Molloy College Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring.