People walking near a canal in St. Lawrence County
August 2, 2022

New York Department of State Announces Groundbreaking of $2 Million Flood Resiliency Project in City of Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County

New York Department of State Announces Groundbreaking of $2 Million Flood Resiliency Project in City of Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County
Construction of New Seawall Will Protect Maple City Trail During Highwater Events and Mitigate Flooding
Part of State’s $300 Million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

New York State Department of State (DOS) Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez today announced the start of construction on a $2 million flood resiliency project, the first of four projects to help mitigate flooding in the city of Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, through the State’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The Maple City Trail is located on the banks of the Oswegatchie River, a major tributary to the St. Lawrence River. The existing limestone block wall is roughly 100 years old, and flooding events undermined the existing structure as well as retained material loss that impacted the wall’s alignment and structural integrity. In addition, the concrete cap is in poor condition and limestone blocks are dislodged in several areas.

“Resilient infrastructure is a critical component of any long-term waterfront revitalization effort,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez.  “This project will protect the Maple City Trail and the Oswegatchie River shoreline for generations of residents and visitors, while also contributing to economic development, tourism and community revitalization.”

The Maple City Trail project is being performed to increase resiliency of the trail within the project area by reducing flooding potential, riverbank erosion, and property damage caused by high-water events. A new precast concrete segmental block wall (1,200 Linear Feet) will be constructed to replace the existing stone/concrete wall. Construction of the new wall with precast concrete, crushed stone drainage material and bedding, and stone fill will protect the toe of the wall from future scouring. The top of the new wall will be set at an elevation of 252 feet (northern end), 253.5 feet (middle portion) and 255 feet (southern end, near dam) to protect the shoreline from river levels overtopping the wall during future flood events. The area behind the new wall will be elevated and the existing damaged trail will be rebuilt and landscaped.

DEC Commissioner and REDI Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “With Governor Kathy Hochul’s support, the State’s REDI program is breaking ground on transformative infrastructure projects along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shorelines. I applaud the work of the REDI Commission in partnership with municipalities to restore the shoreline and build back damaged or at-risk infrastructure, safeguarding local economies, protecting public health, and ensuring previously affected areas are better prepared for future flooding events.” 

New York Power Authority (NYPA) Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “The Lake Ontario REDI Commission projects continue to benefit shoreline communities and recreation sites in St. Lawrence County. The Maple City trail offers bikers, runners and walkers spectacular views of the Oswegatchie River.  The reconstruction of the seawall wall on the Maple City Trail will decrease flooding events and property damage and strengthen shoreline communities for the benefit of St. Lawrence County residents and visitors alike.”  

Senator Patty Ritchie said, “From walking to biking, the Maple City Trail provides endless opportunities for not only getting active, but also taking in the beautiful sites in the City of Ogdensburg. We’ve seen the damage historic high water has done to the Trail, and this project is critical to ensuring it is protected from any future flooding. I am pleased ground is being broken on this important effort and look forward to an improved, stronger and safer Maple City Trail for all who use it.”

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk said, “These improvements to the Maple City Trail are a great example of building back stronger to enhance existing infrastructure, while at the same time being ready to withstand any possible future high-water events.  This is a huge win for the ‘Burg’.”

St. Lawrence County Legislature Chairman William Sheridan said, “The Maple City Trail REDI Project breaking ground is a reflection of the importance of the partnership between state and local government. St. Lawrence County is grateful for the continued support of Governor Hochul and the REDI Commission for transformative projects, like this one, that will restore and stabilize a premier area along the riverfront.”

City of Ogdensburg Mayor Jeff Skelly said, "This project will raise the elevation of the sea wall along our Oswegatchie River by two feet and by doing so that will preserve that section of our popular Maple City Walking Trail. This is great news. When you think of the work that our ancestors did to build the original wall by hand. This preserves one of the most beautiful portions of our city for future generations to enjoy. I appreciate New York state for their help in all aspects of this project, as well as our own city staff."

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.

For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here