City of Oswego starts $16 million Lake Ontario waterfront projects

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Oswego waterfront
Oswego, NY (Google Maps)

The City of Oswego has started $16 million of construction along its Lake Ontario waterfront, including Breitbeck Park, Wright’s Landing and the International Pier, mayor Billy Barlow said on June 26.

The projects are scheduled to begin immediately, will happen simultaneously and construction is expected to last through July 2021, using a combination of Oswego Department of Public Work crews and private contractors, Oswego County Today has reported.

The north-central New York city has been working with Vernon based Delta Engineers to design the projects since early 2019, prior to securing FEMA emergency declaration funding and Governor Cuomo’s REDI funding in Fall 2019.

There are three projects, including $12.6 million of awarded funding from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s REDI program, $1.1 million from a CFA grant in 2018 and $1.5 million from FEMA to repair damaged caused by high water levels and flooding from Lake Ontario, the publication reported.

“Our Breitbeck Park, Wright’s Landing Marina, and International Pier projects will surely transform Oswego’s waterfront and position our community to finally take full advantage of being a waterfront community,” Barlow said. “Our projects will both protect our waterfront property and assets, while allowing us to build and improve our waterfront to serve as an attractive economic development tool, adding to Oswego’s forward progress. Our Wright’s Landing Marina will become the premier marina on Lake Ontario and the International Pier, I believe, will serve as a unique and powerful regional attraction, showcasing our world class waterfront, for many years to come.”

The city has experienced more than $5.5 million of property damage from high waters and flooding along the lakeshore since the International Joint Commission (IJC) implemented Plan 2014, creating more fluctuation in water levels among the great lakes.

The Breitbeck Park project will call for large rip-rap stones and additional landscaping along the bottom of Brietbeck Park and the Harbor Trail, funded by FEMA, to prevent future land erosion from high water.

As well, Oswego’s REDI projects cover significant improvements to Wright’s Landing Marina by elevating the ground surface by two feet to prevent future flooding, a new pavilion, a new welcome center, full renovations of restroom facilities, implements ADA accessible access throughout the marina, a new pavilion and more firepit and seating areas.

Finally, a significant investment will be made to the International Pier, currently an underutilized gravel pier. Barlow’s plan calls for a $6.5 million transformation of the pier into a pedestrian oriented boardwalk pier.

“We’re thrilled to be able to do a bulk of the construction work in-house with the Oswego DPW personnel and equipment,” said Thomas Kells, Commissioner of Oswego’s Department of Public Works. “Being able to do this project in-house will save on project costs, expedites the construction schedule and gives our DPW employees an opportunity to participate in a project that will transform this community. We’re excited to help execute Mayor Barlow’s vision for Oswego’s waterfront and look forward to enjoying the final product.”

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