The New York Department of State announced today the start of construction of a series of flood resiliency projects awarded to the village of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County. The village was awarded more than $3.3 million to complete the three projects through New York State’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). These REDI-funded projects will help mitigate the impact of future high-water events and improve the resiliency of Jefferson County’s shoreline.
“With the support of Governor Hochul, New York State continues to invest in critical infrastructure to support the health, safety, sustainability and economic prosperity of Lake Ontario shoreline communities,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “These climate resilient investments are a great example of the efforts by the New York Department of State, the REDI Program and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to enhance the resilience of the Village of Cape Vincent’s waterfront to mitigate flood risks associated with extreme water levels. These improvements will bolster boater safety, tourism, and recreational activities for residents and visitors for generations to come.”
Both residents and visitors to the village of Cape Vincent depend on critical shoreline infrastructure for public recreation and access to the St. Lawrence River, especially from May through October. During this time, the Village sees an increase in seasonal population, as visitors from across the state enjoy recreational boating and fishing opportunities. During the high-water events that took place in the summer of 2017 and again in 2019, critical infrastructure along the shoreline was damaged or underwater.
The village of Cape Vincent was awarded more than $5 million by the REDI Commission for a total of seven projects. Four projects, including the Real Street Seawall, Point Street Seawall, Market Street Sewer, and Esseltyne Public Dock, completed work last year.
The projects include:
East End Park, $3,237,600: Repeated flooding damaged East End Park leaving the sidewalk, lawn, and seawall washed out and distorted. The weakened wall system is at an increased risk for deterioration from future wave action and presents a hazard to the public. Resiliency measures to be implemented include replacement of the sidewalk, reinforcement and repair of the seawall, installation of a quarry stone apron, as well as construction of a floating breakwall. Additionally, a large ship floating dock will be installed.
Village-Owned Boat Ramp $50,000: Washout at the end of the village-owned boat ramp and damage to the ramp’s wooden bumper, has created a danger for boaters accessing the ramp for launching. The project will include placing fill at the end of the ramp and replacing the wooden bumper with a concrete bumper.
Village-Owned Docks $50,000: Flooding and increased wave action left the village’s fixed docks critically damaged and unusable. To restore public usage the existing fixed boat docks will be removed and replaced with floating aluminum-framed, composite deck docks. In addition, the existing deteriorated cribbing will be removed, and a new aluminum and concrete floating wave attenuator will be installed in place of the old cribbing.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "New York State continues to work with our local leaders along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to strengthen the resiliency of local economies and infrastructure by protecting against future flooding. As a partner in the REDI Commission, DEC is proud to work directly with the village, the Department of State, and other stakeholders to help build East End Park back stronger, benefiting not only the residents of Cape Vincent but the many visitors who will enjoy this destination for years to come."
New York Power Authority (NYPA) Acting President and CEO and Jefferson County REDI Commissioner Justin E. Driscoll said, “These three resiliency measures along the waterfront in the Village of Cape Vincent will enable more residents and visitors to enjoy recreation and activity along the shoreline. By supporting major infrastructure improvements like these, New York State is demonstrating its continued support for local communities that have been damaged by flooding and a commitment to restoring and improving amenities that help promote tourism and economic development.”
Senator Mark Walczyk said, "I am pleased to hear these REDI projects in Cape Vincent are underway to provide critical maintenance to infrastructure damaged by flooding. I wish the project the best of luck as it moves forward and remain ready to assist in any way I can."
Assemblyman Scott Gray said, “We continue the investment in our waterfront communities to make them economically viable and resilient. The improvements in Cape Vincent will enhance access to the beautiful St. Lawrence and make the shoreline safer, improve aesthetics, and provide greater enjoyment for residents and visitors.”
Jefferson County Chairman William Johnson said, “New York State continues to make strategic improvements to the Jefferson County shoreline through the REDI program that will improve the county’s resiliency to future flooding events. These investments are a testament to Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to the region, and we are thankful for the continued support from our state partners.”
Cape Vincent Mayor Jerry Golden said, “The Village of Cape Vincent has started construction on its multi-million-dollar East End Park Improvements project. Using funds from the NYS REDI Commission and LWRP program, the Village plans to construct an elevated bulkhead, floating dockage, wave attenuator, ADA Accessible kayak launch, parking, lighting, and a host of other improvements at the park. The chief goals of these improvements are to enhance the resiliency of the park to extreme weather and provide a state-of-the-art boating facility along the St. Lawrence River to draw the public to the Village.”
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 38 projects in the design phase, 41 projects in the construction phase, and 55 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.