SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, FOLLOWING HIS MAJOR PUSH & VISIT TO ATHOL SPRINGS, $8.2 MILLION CONTRACT AWARDED TO COMPLETE LONG-SOUGHT RENOVATION OF RTE. 5 SEAWALL; SENATOR SAYS CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN IN OCTOBER AND IMPROVE SAFETY FOR COMMUTERS AND RESIDENTS, EVEN IN THE WORST OF CONDITIONS
Schumer Secured +$4M in USACE Budget To Construct New Rte. 5 Barrier Wall In Athol Springs, Helped Broker Partnership Agreement Between Army Corps & NYSDOT
Schumer Today Announces, Following His Push, The Army Corps Has Awarded An $8.2 Million Contract To Morrish Wallace Construction, To Begin Work This October
Schumer: It’s Time To Get Shovels In The Ground & Make WNY Commutes Safer!
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his major push, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded an $8.2 million contract to Morrish Wallace Construction, to construct a new, safer, and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 in Athol Springs against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms. According to Schumer, the new barrier will be critical to ensuring the safety of drivers trying to access their homes, schools and local businesses, with construction slated to start this October.
In September of last year, Schumer secured rare, 100% USACE for the Athol Springs seawall project, an anomaly, as USACE projects are usually funded in tandem with state governments at a 65%-35% split. Schumer applauded USACE for awarding the funding needed to finally complete the Route 5 seawall renovation and for its commitment to improving safety for drivers on the critical artery between Buffalo and the Southtowns.
“This federal investment is a major victory for public safety along Route 5 in Athol Springs, which has been compromised by a crumbling break wall that doesn’t shield drivers as waves come crashing over from Lake Erie. I’ve been sounding the alarm about this worn-down and insufficient infrastructure for ages now, which has been an impediment to safety, commerce and more,” said Senator Schumer. “This new barrier wall will shield drivers during even the most treacherous of conditions that are trying to get home, to school or to their job. I applaud the USACE for prioritizing this crucial project, and will continue to fight in the Senate for infrastructure upgrades that increase safety, help complete important local projects, and boost quality of life and the economy in Western New York.”
Schumer explained without this critical federal investment, drivers would continue being placed in harm’s way – especially during the winter when the water freezes almost immediately creating even more dangerous conditions. In addition to the significant safety concerns, Schumer said the economic consequences are palpable: during the winter months, local officials are often forced to close the roadway, cutting off vital access to over 40,000 vehicles, and hurting many local businesses who rely on traffic from Route 5. Located along Lake Erie in Hamburg, New York, Route 5 serves as a main artery between the city of Buffalo and communities to the south.
Schumer explained that USACE has already finished the project design for the approximately 1,325-foot revetment and 15-foot wide "splash apron" which will further protect motorists. Designed foremost for safety, the barrier will double as a concrete pedestrian walkway along the shoreline.
Nearly a century old, the existing wall is rapidly deteriorating and is no longer able to absorb or drain the large waves that result from storms on Lake Erie. The effects are even worse when southwest and west winds hit the shore putting drivers along Route 5 at constant risk of being caught by waves as they crash onto the roadway.
The funding comes after Schumer’s visit to Rt. 5 during the summer of 2017. During his visit, Schumer called on USACE to construct a new, safer, and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms. In September of 2018, Schumer announced that following his visit, he had secured rare 100% USACE funding for the seawall project. Then, in May of 2019, Schumer announced that he helped broker a deal between the USACE and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) on the Project Partnering Agreement for the Athol Springs seawall project, allowing it to move forward after months of delay.
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