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For Release: Tuesday, April 26, 2022

DEC Announces Start of Construction on Series of Flood Resiliency Projects in Town of Webster, Monroe County

$1.5 Million Awarded to Re-Align and Elevate Lake Road to Mitigate Future Roadway Flooding and Promote Public Safety

$748,000 in Grant Funding for Improvements to Popular Tourist Destination Sandbar Park to Support Local Economy

$250,000 Upgrades to Sandbar Park Wastewater Pump Station to Prevent Future Inundation

Part of New York State's $300 Million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

Complements $2,400,859 in Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grant Funding for Improvements at Sandbar Park to Increase Public Recreation Amenities and Community Use

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos today announced the start of construction of a series of flood resiliency projects in the Town of Webster, Monroe County. The three projects breaking ground were awarded almost $2.5 million in grant funding through the State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) (leaves DEC website). Once complete, these REDI projects will mitigate the negative public safety, environmental, and economic impacts of future high-water events like those seen in 2019, when flooding forced emergency road closures, caused degradation of public infrastructure, and restricted public use of popular tourist destinations like Sandbar Park.

"Helping New York's coastal communities build back stronger and more resilient from repeated flood events is how the State sustains local economies and protects public safety," Commissioner Seggos said. "The start of construction of vital flood protection projects in Webster along with infrastructure funding is evidence that New York will continue to make critical investments to make our communities more resilient for years for years to come."

  • Lake Road (West End), $1.5 Million award - Lake Road is the single means of access to more than 70 homes and local businesses. The roadway lacks an adequate storm sewer system and becomes flooded during storm events and periods of high lake levels. Flood mitigation measures for this project include the re-alignment and elevation of approximately 2,000 linear feet of Lake Road and the installation of 2,700 linear feet of closed drainage with outlets to Irondequoit Bay. The completed project will ensure continued safe passage for both residents and visitors, as well as emergency responders.
  • Sandbar Park, $748,000 award - Sandbar Park, a town-owned park located on Lake Road with waterfront access to both Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay, is a popular destination, drawing in both local residents and visitors from across the State. This project will reduce future flooding through the installation of a living shoreline stabilization as well as a masonry flood wall. The completed project will allow for continued use of the park, promoting the local tourist economy.
  • Sandbar Wastewater Pump Station (WWPS), $250,000 award - The Monroe County Department of Environmental Services (MCDES) Division of Engineering Sandbar Wastewater Pump Station can withstand flooding but the adjacent control building, including a standby generator, is constructed at grade and is vulnerable to water intrusion from Irondequoit Bay. The current elevation of the WWPS leaves the facility vulnerable to inundation during times of flooding. Construction of protective walls around the pump station will keep water from directly flowing into the building and damaging electrical and mechanical equipment.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Working with our REDI partners on the State and local levels, the State Department of Transportation is working to sensibly rebuild infrastructure along the Lake Ontario shoreline that will stand the test of time. Like so many of our Lake Ontario shoreline communities, the town of Webster has not been spared from the devastating flooding impacts of rising waters. The projects being announced today, which involve the expertise of a number of State agencies and local officials, will help create a stronger and more resilient infrastructure that will help alleviate flooding for residents, visitors, and emergency responders for years to come."

New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriquez said, "Resilient infrastructure investments like these are a key element of the long-term economic, recreational, and social viability of Lake Ontario shoreline communities. These REDI-funded projects will safeguard Sandbar Park, ensuring that Department of State's investments through our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to transform the park into a waterfront destination for residents and visitors alike will be protected and remain accessible. These projects showcase how State Programs can work collaboratively to help build better more resilient communities."

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "These projects continue much-needed work to safeguard Lake Ontario communities from future storms and flooding. New York State's collaboration with the town of Webster will help protect vital public infrastructure and help ensure access to Sandbar Park, a popular recreational and tourism asset."

Senator Pamela Helming said, "Sandbar Park is an incredible recreational asset for Webster and the surrounding community. These improvements to the park, Lake Road, and pump stations are critical in the effort to correct flooding issues, safeguard essential infrastructure, and protect property values and small businesses on and adjacent to Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario. Thank you to the town of Webster, Monroe County, New York State, and the REDI Commission for this important work."

Assemblymember Jennifer Lunsford said, "I am delighted to see these critical REDI projects along Lake Road and Sandbar Park finally get underway. These projects will help make this beautiful stretch of coastline more resilient to climate change by mitigating flooding and raising the roadway, nearby structures and electrical elements to a safe height. Sandbar Park is a local gem and we owe it to Lake Ave residents, as well as the many visitors the park attracts every year, to preserve and protect this land. I am proud that we were able to partner with the Town and County to make this happen so quickly."

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, "We will not soon forget the lakeshore flooding in 2017 and 2019 that caused property owners and businesses across Monroe County thousands of dollars in damage. These three projects in our town of Webster will vastly reduce the vulnerability of our lakeshore communities to damage from future rises in lake levels, improve quality of life, and protect our environment. Monroe County extends its thanks to New York State, the REDI commission, and Governor Hochul for their investment in our community."

Webster Town Supervisor Tom Flaherty said, "With Lake Ontario to the North and Irondequoit Bay to the south, the town of Webster has a unique jewel in the 12 acres that make up Sandbar Park. The combination of REDI flood resiliency and Park beautification projects in 2022 and 2023 will result in a destination that will be unlike anything else in New York."

In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established 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. Through REDI, the State has committed up to $300 million, to benefit communities and improve resiliency in flood prone regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Since the creation of the State's REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 134 REDI-funded local and regional projects are underway, including 74 projects in the design phase, 25 projects in the construction phase, and 35 projects completed.

In addition to the REDI awards, the town of Webster was awarded nearly $2.3 million in grant funding from DOS through the 2021 Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (EPF LWRP) to be utilized for Sandbar Park improvements. On the lake side of the park, new parking, public restrooms, a public gathering space, and a children's natural play area, connected by a lakefront promenade will be constructed. On the bayside, new floating docks, an accessible kayak launch, open lawn areas, and new parking facilities will be constructed.

The State Department of State previously awarded the town an EPF LWRP grant award for $118,000 to complete the design of Sandbar Park improvements.

For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, visit the Governor's website (leaves DEC website)

Photos courtesy of the town of Webster

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