SCHUMER: ROUTE 5 ALONG LAKE ERIE, WITHOUT FED FUNDING, REMAINS VULNERABLE TO CRASHING WAVES DURING STORMS – THREATENING DRIVERS, SCHOOLS & BUSINESSES; CURRENT STONE BARRIER MEANT TO PROTECT AREA IS CRUMBLING AND NO LONGER EFFECTIVE; SENATOR URGES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO PRIORITIZE FUNDING FOR RTE. 5 PROJECT
Schumer Said Route 5, The Main Artery Between Downtown Buffalo And The Southtowns, Carries Over 40,000 Vehicles Each Day And Provides Residents And Visitors Critical Access To Local Businesses And Schools; Road Is Only Protected From Tempestuous Waters By A Crumbling Sea Wall Nearly A Century-Old
Schumer: Army Corps of Engineers Should Prioritize Funding For A New, Safer, And Durable Barrier That Will Also Double As A Concrete Pedestrian Walkway Along The Shoreline; Plans and State Funding Are Already In Place
Schumer To Feds: We Must Rebuild Crumbling Lake-Front Wall To Protect Drivers and Support Local Businesses by Making Shoreline More Resilient -- And More Accessible
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to prioritize a project that will build a new, safer, and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms. Schumer said a new barrier is critical to ensure the safety of drivers trying to access their homes, schools, and local businesses. Without critical federal funding Schumer said drivers are at direct risk – 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 official 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. Therefore, Schumer is urging USACE to work with local officials to implement this critical project that will create a stronger barrier and also double as a concrete pedestrian walkway along the shoreline. 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.
“My message to the top brass at the United States Army Corps of Engineers is simple: prioritize this project, channel the resources needed and rebuild this crumbling lake-front wall on Route 5 now. Route 5 is the vital link between Buffalo and the Southtowns and this deteriorating wall – that fails to hold back lake surges -- too often severs that link. While today is a beautiful day here in Western New York, anyone who has driven along Route 5 in the winter, during a really brutal storm, knows that this road can be treacherous,” said Senator Schumer. “Sometimes it’s so dangerous that local officials have to close the road altogether, creating headaches for residents and hurting local businesses who depend on passing traffic. Rebuilding our roads and investing in infrastructure has always been a priority of mine – especially when it comes to safety, which is why I am urging the Army Corps to prioritize this new barrier on Route 5
. Investing in projects like this, makes all the sense in the world: it makes are roads safer, puts people to work, helps complete an important local project, and boosts quality of life and the regional economy. I hope the Army Corps heeds my calls and provides funding for this critical project so that traffic, and business, can keep moving along Route 5.”
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. During Western New York’s harsh winters, the water can freeze almost immediately creating even more dangerous conditions for drivers. This can also force local official to close the roadway, cutting off vital access for the thousands of vehicles, local businesses, and schools.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has finished the project design for the approximately 1,325-foot revetment and 15-foot wide "splash apron" which will further protect motorists. Schumer said the Army Corp should prioritize the Route 5 project in order to move it to the implementation phase now that the design is complete. Designed foremost for safety, the barrier will double as a concrete pedestrian walkway along the shoreline.
A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below:
Dear Acting Secretary Doug Lamont:
I write to reiterate my support for the nearly quarter mile long revetment and "splash apron" that will protect Route 5 along Lake Erie in Hamburg, New York. This project, which will create a new stone barrier to shield the roadway against high water levels and large storms, is of critical importance for both safety and to the regional economy. It is my hope that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will prioritize this project in the Corps' budget so the project may swiftly proceed to the implementation phase now that the design is complete.
Located on Lake Erie in Hamburg, Route 5 serves as a main artery between the city of Buffalo and communities to the south, carrying over 40,000 vehicles each day. Route 5 provides residents and visitors critical access to local businesses and schools.
Nearly a century old, the existing wall is crumbling and no longer able to absorb or drain the large waves that result from storms on the Lake, especially when southwest and west winds hit the shore. Drivers along Route 5 are at risk of being inundated with water as waves crash onto the roadway. In the winter, the water can freeze almost immediately creating even more dangerous conditions for drivers. This forces local officials to close the roadway cutting off vital access for the thousands of vehicles, local businesses, and schools that rely on Route 5.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has finished the project design for the approximately 1,325-foot revetment and 15-foot wide "splash apron," and is now waiting on funding to begin construction. When completed, the revetment will serve as an improved safety barrier to protect the roadway against higher water levels and enable water to drain more quickly from the area. Designed foremost for safety, the barrier will double as a concrete pedestrian walkway along the shoreline. It is my hope that you will propose a budget with the appropriate resources to deliver this project quickly.
Thank you for your consideration of this important project. Route 5 plays a key role in the regional economy enabling residents and visitors access to businesses and school as well as travel across the area. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact my staff.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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