$5.4 Million Infrastructure Project in Jefferson County Will Mitigate Flood Hazard by Stabilizing and Elevating Single Access Road
Projects Selected as Part of Governor Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the start of construction on a $5.4 million project awarded to Jefferson County, through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. This project will address a 1,800 linear foot section of County Road 57 and its shoulder, which falls between Chaumont Bay and Lake Ontario. County Road 57 is located on the Point Peninsula, in the Town of Lyme. During high water events County Highway Department crews routinely monitor and periodically close, clear, and repair the roadway, as it provides the only land access to the island for area residences.
“Vital infrastructure along Lake Ontario has been adversely affected from severe flooding,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through REDI, and through the State’s partnership with local governments, these critical assets are being reimagined and rebuilt to mitigate future damage and disruption, ensuring public safety and safeguarding local economies.”
Mitigation measures for this project include raising the vulnerable section of roadway 3 feet to mitigate potential flooding and halt further road deterioration. Additionally, rip rap will be installed to provide wind, wave and ice protection.
“New York is combatting the impact of flooding due to climate change and helping shoreline communities along Lake Ontario build back better, smarter and more resilient for the future,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Our top priority is protecting the people who live in these communities, and the County Road 57 project in the Town of Lyme will help mitigate flooding, enhance safety and create a sustainable infrastructure.”
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “By working together with our local partners and making smart, targeted investments like this one in Jefferson County, New York State is moving forward in the battle against climate change. These REDI projects will harden infrastructure, mitigate flooding and assist local communities in combating the rising waters of Lake Ontario for years to come.”
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Rising lake levels and increased wave action along Lake Ontario have repeatedly led to road closures in shoreline communities, limiting access and threatening public safety. By installing stabilization measures along the roadway and addressing the elevation of County Road 57, the projects announced will enhance public safety for emergency responders, residents, and visitors.”
Senator Patty Ritchie said, “Point Peninsula is one of Jefferson County’s most popular spots for enjoying the beauty of Lake Ontario. However, due to record flooding, the area’s County Road 57 has become hazardous to travel. I am pleased ground is being broken on this important project, which will help improve the roadway for those who travel it, safeguard the area from future flooding and ensure people can continue to safely enjoy all Lake Ontario has to offer.”
Jefferson County Chairman Scott Gray said, “The County Route 57 project is an extremely important project and another example of a resiliency project where New York is investing and building better in an effort to mitigate the effects of high water to ensure the road is accessible to residents and emergency response vehicles and minimize future mitigation costs. The wash out of this road under even moderately high water creates an island containing residents to a specific area and has been a persistent issue. Governor Cuomo’s foresight creating the REDI Commission is working for the North Country.”
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Governor Cuomo created REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties in the REDI regions. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.
At Governor Cuomo’s direction, the REDI commission toured areas hard hit by flooding on Lake Ontario and worked with local communities to come up with a new vision for the shoreline from both a resiliency and economic development point of view in order to build back better and stronger for the future.
Since the creation of the Governor’s REDI program in the spring of 2019, 133 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 107 projects in the design phase, 13 projects in the construction phase, and 13 projects completed.
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