CHAUMONT — The state Department of Transportation is seeking to replace a 60-year-old bridge over the Chaumont River on a highway connecting the village to Three Mile Bay and Cape Vincent. The 508-foot-long bridge on Route 12E at the western end of the village is nearing “the end of its service life,” DOT regional spokesman Michael R. Flick wrote in an email, prompting plans to erect a new one.
Work toward replacing the bridge is not expected to begin for at least two years, Mr. Flick said. Mayor Valerie E. Rust previously said she was last informed that construction may begin in 2022, but the department has no definitive work schedule yet, Mr. Flick said. The department must also still determine whether motorists could still use it during construction and identify other possible detours or traffic controls.
“The bridge is toward the end of its service life, but is well-maintained and will remain in service,” Mr. Flick wrote, “until such time that it is replaced.” Without the bridge, motorists traveling from Chaumont to Three Mile Bay or Cape Vincent would have to travel six miles east to Depauville and another seven miles west back to the other side of the river on Route 12E. The existing bridge replaced an old lift bridge and causeway that was constructed in 1911 by the town of Lyme. The bridge cost $1,035,000 to build in the 1950s, which translates to about $9 million today, although there are no estimates available for what the proposed new bridge may cost. The existing bridge, which was built slightly south of the lift bridge location, was open to traffic in November 1959, although work in the area was not fully completed until September 1960. The village plans to replace a broken water main running along the bottom of the river with one underneath the new bridge when the DOT builds the bridge. The Department of Health demanded that the village replace the line so it could be used as a backup if another line owned by the Development Authority of the North Country that runs through the towns of Brownville, Lyme and Cape Vincent ever experienced issues. Before building a new above ground main under a new bridge, however, workers will replace almost 60-year-old pipes on both sides of Water Street and install new shut-off valves, used to temporarily halt water service to repair broken pipes. The village expects to begin replacing lines on Water Street in the spring.
High Water Levels Are Anticipated
While Lake Ontario remains above long-term average, regulated outflows will remain as high as feasible based on river conditions. As a result, residents around Lake St. Lawrence are being warned to expect both extreme high and low water levels this winter, as the Board implements a winter deviation strategy. The strategy aims to take full advantage of all opportunities to safely increased outflows and reduce the impact of future levels on Lake Ontario.
High water levels are anticipated when ice begins forming at critical areas of the St. Lawrence River. When ice begins to form, the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board must reduce outflows through Moses-Saunders Dam to help create a stable ice cover on the river. Flow management during ice formation helps to prevent ice jams in the St. Lawrence River that can restrict flows and cause local flooding.
The reduced outflows cause levels of Lake St. Lawrence, immediately upstream of the dam, to rise temporarily. The largest and most rapid increases occur closest to the dam, in the area just west of Cornwall, ON and Massena, NY. These effects are reduced moving upstream and tend to be negligible beyond Iroquois, ON and Lisbon, NY.
Full text of the announcement is attached and available online at: https://ijc.org/en/loslrb/high-outflows-lake-ontario-continue-over-winter-lake-st-lawrence-levels-fluctuate-widely
MEDIA RELEASE November 22, 2019
Flexibility in setting Lake Ontario outflows to continue
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (Board) announced today that, in directing Lake Ontario outflows, it has been given the ability to continue deviating from the flow specified by Plan 2014.
The Board has had authority to deviate from Plan 2014 since May 7th, after Lake Ontario rose above the high water trigger levels specified in a provision known as criterion H14. In light of the present extraordinary circumstances, the International Joint Commission (IJC) has given the Board authority to deviate from Plan 2014 even after Lake Ontario falls below the criterion H14 trigger levels.
The new authority extends until June 2020 when Lake Ontario is forecast to reach its seasonal peak.
From the office of Senator Patty Ritchie
New York State to fund nearly 60 projects to ensure protection from future flooding
Today, I received word that New York State will be providing nearly $88 million dollars for our region—Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego Counties—to help shoreline communities that were severely damaged in the wake of this year’s record flooding.
In all, the funding of 57 different projects will help our region not only recover, but also make it more attractive to visitors and new businesses. In addition, a $15 million regional dredging plan will also help protect shorelines from rising water levels in the future.
While this is good news for our region, there is more.
The application process for homeowners to receive funding will officially be opened up to seasonal residents, with a pot of up to $8 million dollars going to ensure that even more people will receive the help they need. The details of the seasonal resident application process are expected soon and I will keep you informed of the details as soon as they become available.
In addition, our local businesses, many of which have suffered significant damage as a result of this flooding, will now be eligible for grants—up to $200,000 each—through a new funding avenue called the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program. This funding will help businesses pay for improvements that will protect them from future flooding or other weather events. You can learn more about this program, and sign up for notifications about it by clicking here.
To say that our shoreline communities and homeowners have been through a lot following the record flooding of 2017 and 2019 would be an understatement. I look forward to seeing how these important projects help our region, and our people, rebuild and come back stronger than ever.
Shoreline Management Workshop December 5th 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Lyme Free Library The Northeast Lake Ontario Shoreline Management Workshop is intended to educate shoreline property owners on best management practices for repairing and restoring shoreline erosion-related damage. The workshop presenters will discuss Great Lakes coastal processes and geology (New York Sea Grant), permitting (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) and NYS Coastal Consistency Review (New York State Department of State.)
NYS Homes and Community Renewal 2019 Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Flood Relief and Recovery Program
Governor Cuomo previously committed more than $100 million to rebuild communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline that were devastated by flooding in 2017. NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) administered the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Flood Relief and Recovery Program to assist with homeowner recovery efforts. The Governor has earmarked up to $20 million to expand the program to assist homeowners impacted by Lake Ontario flooding in 2019.
WHEN CAN I APPLY?
Applications will be accepted beginning October 1, 2019 and ending at 4:00 pm October 31, 2019.
HOW DO I APPLY?
Homeowners can apply for assistance through a network of not-for-profit organizations responsible for administering the program in their local areas. Applications will be available beginning October 1, 2019 on each organization’s website. They will also be available for download from NYS Homes & Community Renewal’s website at https://hcr.ny.gov. Homeowners are encouraged to gather supporting documentation to prepare to apply. This may include evidence of ownership, photographs of damage and insurance information.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS READY?
Homeowners should submit applications even if they are awaiting supporting documentation. We understand that estimates and other documentation may not be immediately available. It is important to meet the October 31, 2019 deadline for submitting your application.
WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE?
Homeowners who sustained damage to their primary residence may be eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to cover repair costs related to flood damage sustained in 2019. The amount of the grant will be based on the actual cost of repairs.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT?
Homeowners residing in Cayuga, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Wayne Counties that sustained direct physical flood-related damage, or experienced significant shoreline damage that threatens the safety of the home or its infrastructure are eligible to apply. The program is open to all owners of primary residences. Applicants that seek to address damage caused to their residential structure will be prioritized for awards.
WHAT IS THE COVERAGE PERIOD FOR THE PROGRAM?
Eligible applicants must have incurred physical flood-related damage between January 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019.
I RECEIVED A GRANT FOR 2017 DAMAGE AND HAVE ADDITIONAL DAMAGE THIS YEAR. CAN I APPLY?
Homeowners who received grants under the 2017 Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Flood Relief and Recovery Program may be eligible for a grant if additional damage was sustained in the 2019 coverage period. Applications will be available on October 1, 2019 and must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2019. Applications may be submitted in person to the local not-for-profit organization administering the program, no later than 4:00 pm on October 31, 2019.
NYS HCR Homeowner Funding
We have been advised that if a homeowner wants info about the $20M that’s been carved out of REDI to be administered by NYS HCR (Homes and Community Renewal), they should submit their contact info to NYS HCR to get updates and the application (when it becomes available):