After Substantial Flooding and Damage at Lewiston Landing, Governor Cuomo Announced the Project was Included in his Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
Upgrades Include Enhanced Safety Improvements and Flood Protection Measures Such as New Shoreline Stabilization and Floating Docks
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of $1.2 million resiliency project improvements at Lewiston Landing on Lake Ontario as part of his Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. The improvements at the popular waterfront destination include new shoreline stabilization measures to protect the area from future flooding and the installation of new floating docks, a new pathway with railings, improved lighting and power stations.
"The REDI program is a testament to what can be accomplished when state and local government work together," Governor Cuomo said. "Through this partnership a vision has been realized, one built on revitalization and resiliency. The additions and upgrades to Lewiston Landing will protect the area from future flooding, while boosting community usage and bolstering the local economy. REDI projects such as the restoration of Lewiston Landing, will help ensure that people from across the state will be able to continue to visit and enjoy their favorite summer destinations."
The Lewiston Landing project, which was undertaken by the Village of Lewiston with assistance provided by the New York State Department of State, included important flood mitigation measures such as:
- Elevation of the shoreline and shoreline stabilization to avoid flooding during the next high water events.
- Reconstruction of the public esplanade to facilitate access to several existing facilities along the waterfront
- Replacing existing boat docks with floating docks increases the resiliency of the waterfront by allowing recreational boating during high water levels
Much of Lewiston Landing became submerged during the storms of both 2017 and 2019, due to elevated Lake Ontario water levels and rain, which also increased the elevation of the Niagara River water. During these events, the combined effects of flooding and waves action severely impacted Lewiston Landing and its already declining amenities. This project raised the Landing above 252' and stabilized the shoreline to become resilient to the forces of future high water events, and also installed new floating docks which will rise and fall adaptively in response to changing water levels and local river conditions.
To further improve visitors experience and safety, the project included construction of a new landing/pathway with railings and lighting, as well as installation of new electrical outlets and service lines for the site.
"New York has a special responsibility to be stewards of the Great Lakes and protect them for the people who live in these communities and the businesses that operate here," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "While waterfront communities along Lake Ontario and the Niagara River have faced tremendous challenges in recent years, New York is helping them build back better, smarter and more resilient than before. Today's completion of improvements at Lewiston Landing - the main access point for many waterfront activities and the only public site within the village that provides direct access to the Niagara River - will protect it from future high-water events and ensure that it remains a place of enjoyment for future generations."
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State has continued to work with our local leaders along the shores of Lake Ontario even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to helping these vibrant communities revitalize their waterfronts and strengthen the resiliency of not only infrastructure assets but also their local economies by protecting against future flooding. The Department of State is proud to work directly with the Village of Lewiston and its elected officials to build Lewiston Landing back smarter, benefiting not only the residents of Lewiston but the many visitors who enjoy this destination and for years to come."
Senator Robert Ortt said, "The highwater levels of Lake Ontario devastated towns and villages all along its southern shoreline, causing millions of dollars in damage and decimating the economic viability of countless communities. Because of this disaster, New York State and the REDI Commission have stepped up and provided vital funding to projects that will help get these communities back on the road to recovery. The completion of the Lewiston Landing project is just one example of New York State's recovery efforts and preparation for potential flooding in the future."
Assemblymember Angelo Morinello said, "The highwater events of 2017 and 2019 had devastating effects on shoreline communities, including the Village of Lewiston, where high water levels led to the closing of the docks. Lewiston Landing is one of the most important assets to the Village of Lewiston's economy, drawing visitors from across New York State. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the implementation of his Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) we will be able to keep the docks open during future highwater events, thus supporting our local businesses and the tourism industry that is so important to them."
Chairman of the Niagara County Legislature Rebecca Wydysh said, "These REDI projects are hugely important for communities along the water in Niagara County that have been negatively impacted by the flooding, including right here at Lewiston Landing, so I commend all of those involved for making this project happen. Lewiston Landing is more than just a tremendous recreation spot, it is a key part to our tourism industry and drawing people to our local businesses. And since high water levels, unfortunately, will be a continuing issue, we must invest in infrastructure projects like this that can mitigate the damage."
Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said, "Thank you Governor Cuomo and the REDI Commission for your partnership as we worked towards re-imaging and rebuilding the Lewiston Landing. Through this partnership with the state we were able to make vital improvements to the shorelines. These improvements including the addition of floating docks will ensure that the landing remain open even during times of high water, allowing both local residents and visitors from across the state to continue to enjoy the jewel of the Village."
President and CEO of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation John Percy said, "Lewiston Landing is such an enhancement to the community that surrounds it, but also provides a wonderful experience for our visitors from around the world. The waterfront in Lewiston is such a treasure and we applaud the efforts to restore it, while also adding improvements and upgrades to ensure its beauty for generations to come."
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Governor Cuomo created 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. The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties in the REDI regions. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.
At Governor Cuomo's direction, the REDI commission toured areas hard hit by flooding on Lake Ontario and worked with local communities to come up with a new vision for the shoreline from both a resiliency and economic development point of view in order to build back better and stronger for the future. They developed a package of actions - ranging from legislative changes to aid packages to executive actions - that will be able to withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store. Part of this plan includes ways to harden public facilities and enhance natural features such as living shorelines and sand replenishment on the Lake Ontario waterfront.
The REDI project complements the long term partnership between the DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and the Village, which has resulted in funding over $900,000 for improvements and revitalization efforts at Lewiston Landing including the construction of a floating gangway and several floating dock fingers, as well as ADA compliant access ramps to the gangway to ensure all residents and visitors are able to enjoy the waterfront.
The Lewiston Landing is the main access point for numerous waterfront activities, fishing and boating activities, and restaurants. The Lewiston Landing Marina is the only public site within the village that provides direct access to Niagara River and offers recreational opportunities to residents and visitors alike, including fishing, boating, and overall enjoyment of the Niagara River. For more information on the Lewiston Landing REDI project and other REDI projects in the Niagara Region, please click here.
The DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure increases resilience and sustainable growth in New York communities by advancing progressive land use solutions and community-based planning and development. For more information on programs administered by this Office, go to https://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/. Follow DOS on Twitter at @NYSDOS or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkDepartmentOfState/.