Construction kicks off on $14 million resiliency project in Town of Newfane

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Construction is underway on a $14 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Newfane, Niagara County through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

Olcott Harbor is an important recreational harbor located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The harbor area includes the Town of Newfane Marina, Olcott Yacht Club, Hedley Boat Company, McDonough Marine, and several private homes.

In 2019, the harbor entrance was devastated by flooding, wind-driven waves, and sediment deposition in the navigation channel. High water levels, wave agitation, and new sediment deposits prevented safe refuge and navigation by large and small recreational watercraft. This project seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of extreme weather conditions on the harbor entrance, thereby protecting boaters, local businesses, and public/private properties that play a critical role in the local recreation/sport-fishing based economy.

Resiliency measures to be implemented in the project include the installation of an offshore oval, rubble-mound breakwater approximately 350 feet in length, and enlargement of the east and west piers to reduce wave action and sedimentation at the mouth and within Olcott Harbor navigation channel, preventing flooding and shoreline damage, as well as to make navigation more amenable for longer periods throughout the year.

“We [are] very excited that construction has begun on the long awaited Olcott Harbor Breakwater project. On behalf of the town, I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his tremendous support, and the REDI Commission in assisting the town in moving this project forward. The Governor’s and State agencies partnership and guidance was priceless in the development of the plans and permitting of this project. The completed breakwater project will protect the harbor and allow for economic development in the Town of Newfane for decades to come,” Town of Newfane Supervisor Horanburg said in a statement.

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