$1.1 Million Upgrades to County Road 6 in Town of Cape Vincent Will Maintain Access for Homeowners and Reduce County Maintenance of Roadway
Part of New York State's $300 Million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction of a resiliency project awarded to Jefferson County, through New York State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). County Road 6 located along the Lake Ontario shoreline in the Town of Cape Vincent, between the Village of Cape Vincent and Tibbets Point, provides access to local residences and to Tibbets Point Lighthouse. The roadway and its shoulder suffer from shoreline erosion and debris deposition associated with flooding, wind, and wave action, and is especially vulnerable, as it is located directly on the St. Lawrence River and the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Flooding and storm events hinder the use of the road and safety of the residents traveling this route, forcing Jefferson County and the Town of Cape Vincent Highway Department crews to monitor and periodically close, clear, and repair the roadway.
Residents are concerned about losing safe access to their homes when traveling on the road as sections of the roadside shoulders have been undermined. The REDI Commission awarded Jefferson County $1.1 million to address these degraded portions of County Road 6.
Resiliency measures to be implemented in this project include repairs to the shoreline along impacted sections of County Road 6, and repairs to the roadway's shoulder. Shoreline repairs will be completed through the placement of heavy rip rap, which will provide wind, wave, and ice action protection. The completed project will provide safer road passage and reduce County and Town Highway Department maintenance related to flooding events.
"Waterfront communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have faced tremendous challenges in recent years, but New York State is leading the way in helping them fight back against the effects of climate change," Governor Hochul said. "The County Road 6 project in Jefferson County will address damage due to flooding and weather events and help to build back smarter and stronger. Improved infrastructure is critical in helping to ensure our businesses and residents are safe and continue to strengthen the economy moving forward."
State Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The residents of Jefferson County have directly experienced the impacts of extreme weather with flooding, the damaging effects of wave action and erosion - all impacting roads and infrastructure. Through the REDI Commission and our state and local partners, the Department of Transportation continues to rebuild a more resilient transportation network for the shoreline communities along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario - one that will better withstand the impacts of climate change and allow for safe, uninterrupted travel for residents and emergency personnel."
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "The North Country has been on the frontlines of the effects of climate change with increased water levels and flooding. We, at NYPA, are glad to support the Resiliency and Economic Development Commission in its efforts to help local communities recover and build back stronger by investing in infrastructure projects like this one in Cape Vincent."
State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "When my children were younger, one of our favorite summertime activities was staying in Cape Vincent and riding bikes to the Tibbets Point Lighthouse, a destination rich with history and beautiful views that so many people enjoy visiting every year. I am pleased to see ground being broken on these important improvements to County Road 6 and Tibbets Point. Once complete, the roadway will be better protected from high water and in addition, tourists, residents and emergency personnel will have a more reliable, safe route to travel as they visit the Lighthouse and other destinations."
Assemblyman Mark Walczyk said, "Since 2017, we've seen how crippling flooding has been to the region's infrastructure and making sure roadways are equipped to handle future high-water events is critical. "The Tibbets Point REDI Project will harden the shoreline to be better protected to fight back against any future flooding. Cape Vincent residents that travel this stretch of road daily will benefit from this wise investment of state funds."
Jefferson County Chairperson Scott Gray said, "The reconstruction of County Route 6 known as Tibbets Point is a continuation of rebuilding resiliency along our shorelines of the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario in order to protect our passageways during high water events and erosion of road shoulder and shoreline. The REDI projects are a collaborative effort between New York State, Jefferson County and local towns to continue to improve our waterfront communities for years to come."
Town of Cape Vincent Highway Superintendent Bill Pond said, "The Town of Cape Vincent is proud to work with and support Jefferson County through assisted services, to complete the Tibbets Point REDI project. Once completed it will give the community a piece of mind that they will be able to continue to access their homes even during flooding and storm events. This a great example of positive partnership between Town, County, and State government."
Village of Cape Vincent Mayor Jerry Golden said, "The Village of Cape Vincent was very fortunate to have received funding through the NYS REDI project that will complete much of the very necessary repairs to our Waterfront. This is a very exciting time to see these projects moving forward and working towards completion. The village board and I are excited as well to see the projects moving forward in the Town of Cape Vincent. The work scheduled for County Road 6 is extremely necessary and traveled often by not only our community residents, but by the thousands of tourists that honor us every year. The Village and Town work very closely on numerous projects and am very pleased to see another one moving forward. The work being completed today should protect our very valuable waterfront for everyone to enjoy long into the future. I would like to thank everyone involved in helping our communities through this process."
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.
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.
Since the creation of the State's REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 134 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 87 projects in the design phase, 21 projects in the construction phase, and 26 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.
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