U.S. Senator for New York, Charles E. Schumer, is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to build a new, safer and more durable stone barrier to shield Route 5 against crashing waters from Lake Erie during large storms.
According to Schumer, the new barrier is critical to ensure the safety of drivers trying to access their homes, schools, and local businesses.
The senator said that with the Omnibus passed, USACE finally has the resources it needs to prioritize the project and urged USACE to add Rt. 5 to their 2018 Work Plan.
“My message to the Army Corps has always been clear: prioritize this project, channel the resources needed and rebuild this crumbling lake-front wall on Route 5 now. Route 5 is the vital link between Buffalo and the Southtowns, but when waves from Lake Erie crash over the deteriorating wall and onto Route 5, a treacherous situation is created, endangering drivers, and often forcing local officials to close the road altogether. Route 5 is a vital pathway for thousands of Western New York drivers, allowing access to local business and schools in the Buffalo region,” said Schumer.
“For the safety of local officials and residents, it is critical that we invest in our infrastructure. Rebuilding our roads and investing in infrastructure has always been a priority of mine – especially when it comes to safety, which is why I am urging the Army Corps, which now has the resources it needs from the Omnibus, to prioritize this new barrier on Route 5.”
Nearly a century old, the existing wall is rapidly deteriorating and is no longer able to absorb or drain the large waves that result from storms on Lake Erie.
According to the senator’s latest announcement, the effects are even worse when southwest and west winds hit the shore putting drivers along Route 5 at constant risk of being caught by waves as they crash onto the roadway.