Gov. Cuomo announces beginning of construction on $2.5M resiliency project in Sackets Harbor

Flood Protection Measures Implemented on the Brown Shore Road in Sackets Harbor Are Part of Governor Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

Improvements Ensure Access to Residences and Enhance Safety

ALBANY, NY —  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction for a project awarded a $2.5 million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative grant in the Village of Sackets Harbor, Jefferson CountyThe project seeks to address flood water damage to Brown Shore Road, which is especially vulnerable due to its proximity along the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The flooding of 2019 left 12 inches of standing water on the roadway, leaving Brown Shore Road impassable and resulting in a temporary road closure.

The REDI program is a testament to what can be accomplished when state and local governments work together,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project is another example of our continued commitment to revitalization and resiliency. The REDI projects underway in Jefferson County will help ensure we are prepared for anything Mother Nature sends our way as we build back better than before.”

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

  • Raising the roadway up to 18 inches

  • Installing shoreline stabilization

“Waterfront communities along Lake Ontario have faced tremendous challenges in recent years, but New York is leading the way to help them build back better, smarter and more resilient,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Our top priority is protecting the people who live in these communities and the Brown Shore Road project in Sackets Harbor will enhance public safety and ensure that access to the roadway and nearby residences is uninterrupted in the future.”  

NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “When lakeshore communities in the North Country needed help, Governor Cuomo and the REDI Commission listened and took action. This latest project we are breaking ground on today will not only enhance the transportation infrastructure in Sackets Harbor, but help protect residents and businesses from future flooding. We continue to build back better with every project we do on Lake Ontario’s shores.”  

Brown Shore Road is a local two-lane roadway and the only access road for shoreline parcels. The proposed construction will protect the critical infrastructure from further depredation and disruption of usage, enhancing public safety and access to residences.

Senator Patty Ritchie said, “Anybody who traveled Brown Shores Road during the unprecedented flooding events of 2017 and 2019 knows just how important this project is to the Sackets Harbor community. Raising Brown Shores Road and stabilizing the shore will help to protect the safety of residents and others who utilize the roadway. I am pleased to see this project moving forward and know it will be a critical component to the overall effort to build back stronger following recent record flooding in our region.”

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk said, “Flooding along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario impacts countless folks, from Lisbon to Hammond, Alexandria to Sackets Harbor.  While we dodged a bullet this year, it’s clear that we need to harden our shoreline and build stronger to fight back against future high-water events. I want to thank the Governor and his team for recognizing the need for assistance in so many of our river and lake communities. This project on Brown Shores Road will help keep the community safe and protect existing infrastructure in Sackets Harbor for years to come.”

Jefferson County Legislature Chairman Scott Gray said, “The Brown Shore Road project is the essence of a resiliency project where New York is investing and building better in an effort to mitigate the effects of high water to ensure the road is accessible to residents and emergency response vehicles and minimize future mitigation costs.”

Village of Sackets Harbor Mayor Eric Constance said, “The Village is proud to partner with New York State and the Governor’s REDI Commission to address the erosion of the Brown Shore Road. The mitigation measures that are to be executed are essential in prevention of further flooding damage to the roadway and will avert interruption of usage for the residents of Sackets Harbor.”

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 Brown Shore Road project is one of three projects that has been awarded to the Village of Sackets Harbor through the Governor’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. Additional projects are scheduled to break ground in 2021.