Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that work is underway on a $1.7 million project to remove silt, sand and gravel from Cayuga Creek in Erie County, which will reduce the potential for flooding and better protect the area in the case of future storms.
Known as the Lancaster Federal Flood Control Project, work will take place in the Village of Depew and the Village of Lancaster and is being funded through NY Works.
“As we have seen in every corner of New York, extreme weather is the new reality,” Governor Cuomo said. “By taking this proactive approach to flood prevention, residents and businesses in Depew and Lancaster will be ready and better protected the next time severe storms come their way.”
The Lancaster Flood Control project consists of 1.5 miles of improvements along Cayuga Creek, including critical flood protection measures such as channel realignment and widening, earth levees and enhancements, a floodwall, bank protection, two pump stations and multiple drainage structures. It is designed to protect approximately 140 properties and this repair effort will allow the project to continue this goal.
This NY Works project began in July and includes the removal of approximately 60,000 cubic yards of accumulated shoal material from the engineered channel of the creek, stretching from its upstream limit at Lake Avenue in the Village of Lancaster downstream to Penora Street in the Village of Depew. The accumulated sediment in the channel within the creek’s banks has reduced the volume of water the creek can carry. Removing these shoal deposits will restore the creek’s capacity to contain flood waters.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said: “Governor Cuomo’s NY Works program has been instrumental in funding for vital projects to upgrade New York’s flood control infrastructure to protect communities across the state. Being equipped for unexpected flooding is the best practice we can take and these types of improvements will greatly benefit the area in their storm preparedness.”
Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of shoal material is contaminated with Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species that grows rapidly and can form large thickets. This shoal material will be disposed of in accordance with the Beneficial Use Determination (BUD), which determines whether the material can be used for specific projects or should be treated as solid waste and subject to state regulations.
Construction to remove the shoal deposits within the Lancaster Federal Flood Control Project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2014, with the exception of the final disposal of the removed shoals.
Press Release, August 18, 2014