New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction has begun on a $2.1 million project to remove the Northumberland Street Bridge in the Town of Morristown, St. Lawrence County. The bridge was damaged by flooding and has been closed since 2019. The project, which will be undertaken by St. Lawrence County as part of the Governor’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, will enhance safety for boaters traversing Morristown Bay on the eastern side of the St. Lawrence River and increase opportunities for recreation and economic development in the region. It will also help protect the community’s supply of drinking water and prevent sewage discharges.
“The historic flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in 2019, left in its wake devastation to critical infrastructure,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through REDI, the community has identified these assets and we are working hand in hand with local government to see these projects through, from conception to completion. New York State stands committed to ensuring the safety of its residents. We are reassessing and reimaging, so that we can build back better. When high water events occur in the future, our shoreline communities will be better prepared to weather the storm.”
“The infrastructure project in St. Lawrence County will help ensure the safety, resiliency and health of the greater Morristown community, as well as allow for safe passage of recreational boaters,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Removing the deteriorating bridge and relocating the watermain and sanitary sewer will boost the commercial and recreational viability of the area and increase the safety and sustainability of the surrounding region. New York State is proud to invest in the resiliency of our North Country communities.”
The Northumberland Street Bridge is owned and maintained by St. Lawrence County. As part of the project, the county will remove the bridge structure and remove the fill within the causeway to improve its hydrologic connection. In addition, both the watermain and the sanitary sewer will be relocated to run under the bay.
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 were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. The counties were: Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence. 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 95 projects in the design phase, 19 projects in the construction phase, and 19 projects completed.