NEW YORK DISTRICT -– The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District in cooperation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Westchester County, and the Village of Mamaroneck recently held a public information meeting at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Discussed was a Tentatively Selected Plan for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers Flood Risk Management Feasibility Report.
The public information meeting featured a poster board session, comprehensive slide presentation to brief the recommended plan then concluded with a question and answer session.
The public information meeting also emphasized the importance of residents within the affected project area to submit comments relating to the Tentatively Selected Plan before comment period closes on March 30, 2016.
“Together with the Village, County, and State we have developed a plan that can reduce risk associated with flooding in Mamaroneck,” said Col. David Caldwell, commander, New York District, who attended the public meeting and provided opening remarks. “We are holding this Public Meeting to reach out to the community and explain the plan as well as to solicit comments from you and during the remainder of the comment period.”
Comments submitted will be reviewed by the Army Corps, New York State, Westchester County and the Village of Mamaroneck to be used in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), bringing the feasibility study a step closer to being ready for submission to the Corps higher headquarters for approval.
If approved, this study and its Tentatively Selected Plan has the potential to benefit the communities along the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers and will include 1.82 miles of channel modifications to widen, deepen and lengthen the Sheldrake and Mamaroneck Rivers, 1.64 miles of retaining wall, the removal of bridges and the construction of a diversion culvert.
According to Matthew Cosby, project manager, New York District, the focus is on the repetitive losses from flooding that cost millions of dollars in damages to the community of Mamaroneck. “We now have the ability with this plan to reduce the flood risk to resident’s property and infrastructure, as well as the economic losses,” said Cosby.
Some of the concerns expressed by residents during the question and answer session included release of sediments into the rivers during construction and potential buyouts.
Nancy Brighton, environmental lead, New York District, cited the Clean Water Act, in explaining there are sediment and erosion control plans which are best management practices designed to protect water quality during construction.
Erica Labeste, real estate, New York District, pointed out that real estate acquisition will be handled by the non-federal partner and only the minimum for what is needed to construct the project after its been approved. “Property owners will have an opportunity to meet with the appraiser and sponsor throughout this process.”
The next steps for the study is to complete the Final Report and Environmental Impact Statement and submit it to the Army Corps HQ scheduled in fall 2016. Once the draft feasibility study has been approved Chiefs Report will be submitted to Congress in 2017. Pending approval by Congress plans and specifications development is expected to commence followed by contract award and a potential ground breaking in 2018.