GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $22 MILLION TO IMPROVE FLOODING AND STORM RESILIENCY

For Immediate Release: 4/22/2015
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $22 MILLION TO IMPROVE FLOODING AND STORM RESILIENCY

Federal grants awarded to four projects to rebuild bridges and sea walls, and to strengthen flooding measures

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a project in Oneida and Herkimer Counties and three projects in New York City are moving forward after receiving approvals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. These projects will make communities more resilient and better equipped to mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters. During the recovery and reconstruction process following a federally declared disaster such as Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, or Superstorm Sandy, FEMA provides HMGP funds for states to administer grant programs that mitigate the vulnerability of life and property to future disasters.

Sandy, Irene and Lee all demonstrated how important it is that we continue to rebuild our infrastructure so that it can withstand flooding, damage, and other hazards posed by the threat of extreme weather,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will ensure construction of critical projects for communities affected by these severe storms and will build on our success in making New York State stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

FEMA has granted final approval for construction and Phase I approvals for final engineering, along with permission for three projects under its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. After Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York, Governor Cuomo called for government and non-profit organizations across the state to submit applications for projects to help rebuild smarter, stronger, more resilient and more sustainable communities in the wake of recent natural disasters. The projects total more than $22.1 million.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner John Melville said, “It is imperative that we take proactive steps to protect New Yorkers and become more resilient against future storms. It is through these four vitally important projects that we will reduce risks to our communities and be safer and stronger in the face of disasters.”

Final construction approval has been granted for the State Route 8 Bridge over West Canada Creek in the Village of Poland and the Towns of Russia and Deerfield in Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Construction on the bridge is set to begin in June 2015. The project is part of Governor Cuomo’s request for FEMA funding for the State’s complete 105 bridge scour program, which aims to upgrade and strengthen critical transportation routes across the State to ensure access during emergencies. FEMA has approved more than $7.8 million to remove and replace the existing State Route 8 Bridge, a two-span pony-truss bridge, with a new, higher two-span steel girder bridge that will be more resilient to extreme weather events.

Phase I engineering and initial permitting has been approved for the following three HMGP projects:

The Sea Gate Community in Brooklyn: Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the community of Sea Gate’s bulkhead and sea wall, which is the main form of protection against erosion, storm surges, and flooding to nearby homes. In most areas, the bulkhead that previously safeguarded the community has been completely destroyed, putting parts of Coney Island and other surrounding neighborhoods at risk. The total project cost of the new bulkhead, including construction costs, is estimated at $2.8 million.NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation: This project, estimated at $5.16 million including construction costs, will replace and upgrade the tide and sluice gates (movable gates that allow water to flow underneath) on the bridge that separates Flushing Bay from Flushing Creek. Once installed, excess water can be easily drained, which will leave room in the bay to capture extra water and decrease frequent flooding in the park after rainfall. The total area covered by this mitigation project will be about 400 acres.Richmond University Medical Center: The cost of this project, including construction costs, is estimated at more than $6.2 million. Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), a designated level-one trauma center and stroke center, has more than 2,000 employees and 510 patient beds.

Areas of the RUMC Campus, including the Villa Building, have been susceptible to flooding, which affects parking areas for ambulatory and emergency vehicles, as well as physicians and RUMC staff. When this area is flooded, access to the facility is restricted and limits the ability of patients and staff to enter the facility, and receive or provide medical services.The RUMC proposes an improved site-wide drainage system to ensure the proper passage and distribution of storm water run-off. This will maintain functionality of the hospital and emergency access routes to the facility during flooding events, and prevent flood damage to structures and infrastructure.

Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Superstorm Sandy underscored the importance of building New York back stronger than it was before and that’s why we crafted the Sandy-relief bill to provide flexible dollars for mitigation programs. This FEMA funding will make possible a new, resilient bulkhead in Brooklyn’s Sea Gate community; and it will provide sorely-needed mitigation at Staten Island’s RUMC Hospital to maintain operations during a storm; and it will upgrade Flushing Bay bridge. In addition, this federal funding will boost construction at the State Route 8 Bridge in Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Overall, these are smart investments to help protect our communities from future damage.”

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “After Superstorm Sandy, we in government pledged to rebuild Coney Island and Sea Gate, so that they could withstand the next storm. The sea wall and bulkhead project announced by Governor Cuomo today is a critical part of that work. Along with the shore protection jetties and T-groins currently being built by the US Army Corps, these projects will strengthen our coastal defenses and infrastructure ensuring that our vulnerable waterfront communities are protected from storms in the future.”

Congressman Richard Hanna said, “I am pleased that in June we will begin final construction on the Route 8 Bridge in parts of Herkimer and Oneida counties. These federal funds will ensure the safety of the traveling public while improving our infrastructure to be more resilient in the face of extreme weather. These routes are critical to local residents and I am glad to see this project begin.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “I thank the Governor and FEMA for moving forward with this important initiative for Flushing Bay/Flushing Creek. In the wake of the Hurricane Sandy, we must continue to make our region’s infrastructure stronger and more resilient, and this project will go a long way towards decreasing flooding, improving safety and reducing damage associated with future storms.”

About DHSES

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and its four offices — Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications — provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

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