Market Square Park and Harbor Front Improvements are Part of State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
Improvements Ensure Access to Downtown and Enhance Safety
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction of a $3.2 million project awarded to the Village of Sackets Harbor, Jefferson County through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The project includes climate resilient upgrades and improvements of the Village waterfront greenspace at Market Square Park and other public waterfront sites within the Village. Residents and visitors utilize the Market Square Park for recreation and access to the downtown area, which includes a public dock used by recreational boaters and anglers.
"Through the REDI Program, we are assisting flood-prone communities in four regions, including the local municipalities and thousands of New Yorkers who call the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River home," Governor Hochul said. "New York State is committed to tackling climate change both by reducing climate-altering pollution and by investing to protect and prepare Lake Ontario shoreline communities for future extreme weather events."
Market Square Park experienced historic flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario in 2017 and 2019. The bulkhead and park sidewalk were submerged, leaving the Village's public dock unusable. The flooding prevented visitors and residents from accessing the park and hindered entry to the Village downtown. The Village greenspace was left damaged and at risk of further flooding during future high-water events.
Once completed, this flood resiliency project will allow for safe, continued access to the public greenspace, the public boat dock, and the downtown during times of high water. In addition, as part of this project, the Village plans to enhance public access to the waterfront at two locations within the Village's downtown district, make improvements to the Village's Market Square Park pump station and the Ontario Street wastewater treatment plant outfall as well as resiliency enhancements and drainage improvements at the Pickering Museum.
Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:
- Raising the sheet pile wall, bulkhead, and waterfront of Market Square Park approximately two feet higher than current elevation.
- Installing an all-access waterfront plaza including Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalks in Market Square Park.
- Installing 14-boat capacity floating docks with power/water pedestals and a sewage pump out station.
- Constructing three new waterfront greenspaces with hand boat launches or fishing piers.
- Expanding public parking areas.
- Shoreline stabilization at the Ontario Street wastewater treatment plant outfall.
- Installing pavers, wooden plank walkways, stone walls, stone piers, and new site plantings to improve the resiliency and appearance of the entrance to the Pickering Museum.
New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "New York State continues to make critical investments in resilient community infrastructure for the long-term health, safety and economic sustainability of our shoreline communities. The $3.2 million Market Square Park project will include climate resilient upgrades and improvements to the Village's waterfront greenspace to ensure that the infrastructure is rebuilt stronger and ready to withstand possible future high-water events."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "With the support of Governor Hochul, New York's REDI program continues to advance projects to protect shoreline communities historically vulnerable to flooding from high water and extreme weather events, here in Jefferson County and all along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The climate resilient upgrades at Market Square Park are a great example of the community-supported and strategic REDI projects that will protect critical infrastructure in Sackets Harbor for years to come."
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "Protecting and improving Market Square Park and waterfront in Sacket's Harbor is another great example of the REDI Commission's work to rebuild vital community infrastructure in the North Country, while bolstering tourism and economic development."
State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "When Augustus Sacket founded Sackets Harbor over 200 years ago, he designed Market Square Park to be the heart of the Village. I am excited this restoration of the waterfront plaza will help ensure the community could continue welcoming visitors for the next 200 years."
Assemblymember Mark Walczyk said, "The Market Square Park REDI project is bringing $3.2 million in investment, fortification and economic promise to Sackets Harbor. This project not only strengthens the shoreline against future flooding but also brings in new amenities, like floating docks and boat launches that are in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act - ensuring everyone will be able to access and enjoy the Harbor's beauty. I am proud of the work we've done on the REDI Commission to deliver these important funds that will improve our waterfront for generations to come."
Village of Sackets Harbor Mayor Alex Morgia said, "After years of hard work by Village employees and contractors and help from many New York State agencies, we're proud to finally break ground and begin the construction phase of the Market Square REDI project!"
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 50 projects in the design phase, 39
projects in the construction phase, and 45 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.