Governor says Carlton shoreline project shows state committed to ‘build back better’

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul attended the ground-breaking ceremony on Monday for a $2 million shoreline protection project along Lakeshore Road in Carlton.

Posted 27 July 2021 at 9:13 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced construction has begun on a $2 million resiliency project in Orleans County, as part of the Governor’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

Lakeshore Road in the town of Carlton is a major thoroughfare with numerous residences and is one of the main routes to Point Breeze. Wave and horizontal ice pressure have eroded the bluff adjacent to Lakeshore Road creating a hazardous situation for the roadway, public utilities, and private property.

If the road were lost to erosion, travelers would be forced to detour approximately 10 miles. This project seeks to address the erosion of the bluff, as well as the existing failed shoreline protection, to ensure continued safe passage of residents and visitors.

The lake has eroded the shoreline, putting Lakeshore Road cover to Lake Ontario. The shoreline protection project will add rocks and vegetation to protect the shoreline from further erosion.

“New York continues to assist communities devastated by the flooding on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in 2019 and this project is just the latest step in that effort,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through the state’s REDI program, we are working with local governments to harden critical infrastructure, to not only rebuild, but build back better, so that shoreline communities are better positioned to withstand flooding and other natural disasters in the future.”

“Shoreline communities along Lake Ontario have faced tremendous challenges in recent years because of climate change, and New York State continues to invest in making them more resilient for the future,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Our top priority is protecting the people who live in these communities, and the shoreline resiliency project on Lakeshore Road in the Town of Carlton will help mitigate flooding, enhance safety and create a sustainable infrastructure.”

Mitigation measures to be implemented in this project include installation of an onshore riprap revetment system with regraded slope. The area between the revetment and the slope will be vegetated to minimize potential erosion loss and protect the toe of the bluff.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and REDI Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “New York’s REDI program is advancing projects to protect shoreline communities historically susceptible to flooding from high water and extreme weather events, here in Orleans County and all along the shores of Lake Ontario. Fortifying the shoreline along Lakeshore Road is a great example of the strategic projects that were identified by community leaders and will protect residents and visitors to the town of Carlton for years to come.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for encouraging state agencies and local communities to work together to prepare for future Lake Ontario flooding. This work by Orleans County and Town of Carlton will make an important transportation link safer and more reliable for residents and visitors.”

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, “This important infrastructure project in the Town of Carlton will correct the hazardous effects of roadside erosion, helping to protect the travelers and community residents who rely on this route. Through projects like this one, the multi-agency REDI initiative is working to rebuild flood-damaged communities spanning the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines and is another important step in safeguarding the future of our lakefront communities.”

Orleans County Legislative Chair Lynne Johnson said, “In partnering with New York State, Orleans County was able to conceptualize and implement the critical Lakeshore Road project. Through Governor Cuomo’s REDI program the region will be better prepared to withstand future flooding events. We are thankful for the assistance that has been given by Governor Cuomo, the REDI Commission, and all supporting state agencies.”

This rendering from the state shows the fortified shoreline on Lakeshore Road.

Town of Carlton Supervisor Gayle Ashbery said, “On behalf of the Town of Carlton I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the REDI Commission for assisting the region with important flood mitigation projects like the Lakeshore Road project. Additionally, we are thankful to Orleans County for taking the project on and seeing it through from design to shovel in the ground. We are thrilled to see such an importance project for our residents get underway.”

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.

Since the creation of the Governor’s REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 133 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 93 projects in the design phase, 20 projects in the construction phase, and 20 projects completed.