Crews have completed construction work on a $5.4 million project awarded to Jefferson County through New York State’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).
The project addressed the flooding of an 1,800-foot section of County Road 57 and its shoulder, which falls between Chaumont Bay and Lake Ontario, the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday.
“High-water events” made travel on that highway difficult, requiring county highway department crews to “routinely monitor and periodically close, clear, and repair” the roadway, as it provides the only land access to the peninsula for area homes, Hochul’s office said.
Resiliency measures implemented in this project included raising the vulnerable section of roadway three feet to mitigate potential flooding and halt further road deterioration. Additionally, rip rap was installed to provide wind, wave, and ice protection. Crews also installed a culvert to create an underpass for safe passage of the Blanding’s turtle, a threatened species in New York state.
“The County Route 57 project — also known as the Isthmus — epitomizes the REDI commission projects,” Jefferson County Chairperson Scott Gray said in a release. “It captures the essence of resiliency by raising the roadbed 3 feet and the seawalls a total of 8 feet to halt nearly annual washouts in high water conditions and accompanied danger of rocks catapulted by the high waves. This is a collaboration between Jefferson County and New York State that has served the public well and will ultimately save the taxpayer money.”
In response to the “extended pattern of flooding” along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, REDI was created to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region, per Hochul’s office.
The state established five REDI regional planning committees to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public-safety concerns. The REDI committees include representatives from eight counties: Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, and Wayne.