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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE11-106

December 15, 2011

CONTACT:

Farrell Sklerov / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

DEP Repairs Transportation Infrastructure Damaged By Hurricane Irene

Emergency Construction is Part of Overall Recovery Efforts in Watershed

Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland today announced that DEP emergency reconstruction work is underway at four locations as part of the ongoing recovery efforts to reverse damage caused by Hurricane Irene in the West of Hudson watershed. The projects, totaling $2.1 million, include the reconstruction and repair of a segment of Allen Road in Tannersville, the Schoharie Bridge on NYS Route 990V in Gilboa, the Bushkill Bridge on Route 28A in West Shokan, and the Lowes Corner Bridge on Route 55A in Grahamsville. This emergency repair work comes as DEP continues other recovery efforts in the watershed, including debris removal from city property and expediting reconstruction of vital infrastructure damaged by the storm. This work is in addition to DEP’s work during and in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which involved the deployment of $1 million in resources—DEP’s upstate and in-city crews, heavy equipment, technical assistance, and materials—to help hard-hit watershed communities. The emergency work for roadways and bridges is part of a bid contract awarded to Hubbell, Inc. of Margaretville. The work will continue through the spring.

“New York City continues to make steps towards full recovery from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene and helping impacted communities to do so as well,” said Commissioner Strickland. “The storm left a broad swath of damage that impacted local residents, businesses and watershed infrastructure, and DEP has worked closely with upstate communities in the reconstruction. The projects announced today, including repairs to bridges and access roads in the New York City watershed, will ensure that the local transportation infrastructure is in optimal condition.”

The emergency work includes:

  • Allen Road in Tannersville
    The storm caused the washout of approximately 100 feet of pavement to the Village of Tannersville’s Allen Road that provides access to the City’s Tannersville Wastewater Treatment Plant. The flooding during Hurricane Irene also caused erosion that exposed and damaged sewers and water mains. The repair work, which is being performed by DEP on behalf of the village, includes the reconstruction of a two barrel culvert crossing of Allen Brook with a single culvert to prevent debris blockage and the replacement of utilities, guiderails, rebuilding the road in the vicinity of the washed-out area, slope stabilization, removal of debris, roadside ditches and gravel path.
  • Schoharie Bridge – NYS Route 990V in Gilboa
    During Hurricane Irene, Schoharie Creek experienced heavy flows as the Gilboa Dam crested during the storm. As a consequence, approximately 245 feet of bank protection was lost in the eastern abutment of the bridge downstream of the dam. The western abutment lost approximately 189 linear feet of bank protection. The loss of bank protection exposed the wingwalls and footing of the abutments. The repair work includes temporary access from Route 990V to the stream bottom, installation of temporary erosion and sediment control measures, installation of cofferdams, and securing the retaining wall along the bank for abutment and wingwall footings.
  • Bushkill Bridge – Route 28A in West Shokan
    During the storm the flood path of Bushkill Creek washed out an area by the bridge, causing the loss of approximately 100 feet of roadway for one lane, along with support material and the embankment below. The repair work includes the restoration of the northwestern approach and Pier 4, and additional stream stabilization measures; new pavement, striping, guiderail, slope stabilization material and permanent scour remediation material at the base of the roadway embankment, additional scour protection for the abutment and wingwall footings and installation of cofferdams, and sediment and erosion control measures.
  • Lowes Corner Bridge – Route 55A in Grahamsville
    Rondout Creek experienced heavy flows during the storms and this caused slope failures at both of the embankments adjacent to the bridge. An initial inspection recommended lowering the load and reducing the speed limit from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour due to the loss of the stones along the bank which exposed the bottom of the wingwall footing on both the east and the west faces. The repair work includes the restoration of the roadway embankment slope protection, and a reinforced bridge base along the eroded bank and wingwall and abutment footing.

This work is in addition to work done by DEP during and after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Working with local communities, DEP assisted in the recovery and rebuilding of watershed communities, while also protecting the watershed, through several actions including the following:

  • Ahead of the storm, DEP increased water release rates at its reservoirs to enhance the reservoirs’ ability to absorb storm inflow and reduce negative impacts on the surrounding community or to drinking water quality.
  • From the start of the storm, DEP Police assisted with search and rescues throughout the watershed.
  • In order to ensure that cleanup efforts were implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible, DEP suspended enforcement of certain watershed rules and regulations in its West-of-Hudson watershed provided they are taken in response to Hurricane Irene and are immediately necessary to protect life, health, property, and natural resources and are conducted with easily adopted, common-sense protections.
  • DEP deployed equipment and personnel to Prattsville, Windham, Margaretville, Phoenicia, Arkville, Fleischmanns, Wawarsing, and other communities. Dozens of watershed maintainers, construction laborers, and supervisors used dump trucks, backhoes, excavators, loaders, and chainsaws to remove debris.
  • A Vactor truck and crew from the city was deployed to clean manholes in Margaretville as were crews from sewer maintenance, which deployed flusher trucks and rodders to clean the collection system in the village.
  • DEP wastewater treatment personnel from the city were deployed to help repair and run the Tannersville Wastewater Treatment Plant, where a 150-foot section of road was washed away near the plant. They also assisted with repairing a broken sewer pipe which crossed a stream.
  • DEP deployed engineers to inspect bridges throughout the watershed.
  • DEP is also providing technical assistance for the cleanup of Catskill streams after the flood.
  • DEP provided $1 million in funding to help West of Hudson businesses recover from flood damage through the Flood Recovery Fund established by the Catskill Watershed Corporation and assisted with $300,000 toward the repair of Schoharie County’s emergency siren system for Gilboa Dam.
  • Most recently, DEP has committed $7 million to improving flood studies and maps in the West of Hudson watershed through a contract with FEMA. These materials will help communities take appropriate steps to limit the damage from similar storms and other flooding events in the future similar to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 1,000 DEP employees live and work in the watershed communities as scientists, engineers, surveyors, and administrative professionals, and perform other critical responsibilities. DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program for the repair of Gilboa Dam and other in-city and upstate infrastructure, with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600