Lake Ontario Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative (REDI)

Project Background

In 2017 and 2019, the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River System experienced high-water levels that resulted in severe flooding and erosion throughout the region. These conditions caused adverse effects on property, infrastructure, business, and public safety. Given changes to the climatic baseline, New York State recognized that moving forward requires planning for and responding to a potential new normal set of climate circumstances. For the Lake Ontario Region, learning how to adapt to and plan for a warmer, wetter, and more dynamic regional climate is emerging as a reality. By focusing on proactive resiliency planning that is informed by useful climate information and local input, the Lake Ontario Region has an opportunity to promote shoreline resiliency that allows communities and stakeholders to adapt to climate-related challenges.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in order to meet the needs of New Yorkers living in the eight counties impacted by Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flooding. Governor Cuomo committed up to $300 million to improve coastal communities. With deliberate urgency, five Regional Planning Committees were tasked with identifying projects to secure critical assets and to sustain economic vitality along the shoreline.

Local stakeholders and technical experts worked together to evaluate more than 500 projects that were initially submitted and selected nearly 200 projects to be recommended to the REDI Commission. The REDI Commission acted on the Planning Committees’ recommendations and presented a list of REDI projects to be funded to Governor Cuomo.

The City of Rochester is managing four REDI projects, all on the Genesee River (Location Maps available to download under Project Documents below):

East Side Projects:
MO.3 - St. Paul Terminus
MO.9 - Fishing Access at St. Paul


West Side Projects:
MO.7 - West Side of Genesee River Businesses
MO.10 - City of Rochester Marina

Additional information regarding the NYS REDI program is available at https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/lake-ontario-resiliency-and-economic-development-initiative-redi..

Description

East Side Projects:
The east side projects are located along the eastern bank of the Genesee River and include an approximately 975 foot stretch of Genesee River shoreline. The shoreline consists of the Monroe County Sheriff Marine Headquarters, NYSDEC Fishing Access Area, Monroe County Right-of-Way, City of Rochester property, Town of Irondequoit Waste Water Pump Station, United States Coast Guard Station, and associated facilities along with a limited number of tax parcels owned by other businesses and parties (Silk O’Loughlin’s Restaurant, Westage at the Harbor condominiums).

The project area is a highly developed, topographically low area that is actively utilized by the public. The shoreline, building and drainage infrastructure is highly susceptible to rapid and dramatic changes in water levels. This portion of land has been subject to repeated flooding and property damage during the events described above and will remain threatened by future high water events if resiliency initiatives are not implemented.

The 10% Engineering Report (available to download under Project Documents below) proposes multiple alternatives to consider that will increase the resiliency and sustainability of the area including floodwall and berm fortifications, storm sewer system modification and Waste Water Pump System upgrades.

West Side Projects:
The project site is located along the western bank of the Genesee River. The northern limit of the project area is approximately 2,300 feet south of the river’s mouth at Lake Ontario, and the site extends approximately an additional 3,200 feet upstream. The entirety of the project area is in the City of Rochester’s Charlotte neighborhood. The shoreline consist of the City’s Genesee River Marina including the boater services building and parking lots, Genesee Riverway Trail and boardwalk, the historic train station, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary facility; Monroe County Waste Water Pump Station, and private property.

Significant investment has been made in the project area to enhance public use of the Genesee River and Lake Ontario. Recent high-water events have risen above the elevation of existing bank stabilization measures endangering the stability of the banks and in some cases causing damage to the banks and infrastructure. While the water has not historically risen above the elevation of the newly constructed public boardwalk, recent trends in water levels and climatic conditions suggest that such water elevations could exist in the future. A rise of water levels above the elevation of the top of the boardwalk would subject adjacent public and private properties to flooding, damage and possible closure.

The 10% Engineering Report (available to download under Project Documents below) proposes multiple alternatives to consider that will increase the resiliency of the project area’s facilities and resources including vegetative bank stabilization, wetland enhancement, floodwall fortifications, sheet pile sea wall, floating dock modifications, and storm sewer system modifications.

Project Schedule

Design Summer 2021  (anticipated completion)
Construction   Summer 2022 (anticipated completion)

 

Project Documents

The following reports were prepared as an initial step as an evaluation of alternatives and 10% conceptual design to help guide the next steps of the project design process. The information provided in these document is primarily based on the online sources, site visits and discussions with City, Town, County and State personnel. Furthermore, these reports include recommendations for the next steps to investigate the site, perform the required field work and prepare a detailed assessment of the alternatives prior to making a final decision on the selected alternative.


Project Location Maps
Engineering Report for MO.03 St Paul Terminus and MO.09 St. Paul Fishing Access – March 20, 2020
Engineering Report for MO.07 West Side of Genesee River Businesses and MO.10 City of Rochester Marina – April 1, 2020

Project Meetings

Public Meetings:

West Side – Tuesday, February 2, 2021 5:30 p.m.

                Presentation

                Meeting Minutes

East Side – Thursday, February 4, 2021 – 5:30 p.m.

               Presentation

               Meeting Minutes

Questions?


If you have questions or comments concerning the project, contact the City’s project manager, Jeffery J. Mroczek, R.L.A., Senior Landscape Architect, Department of Environmental Services, Bureau of Architecture & Engineering – Landscape Architecture (Development) Division, at (585) 428-7124 or email him.