With seawall crumbling, Corps works to keep Broderick Park above water

This notch (upper left) along the Niagara River shoreline at Broderick Park is impeding the upstream progress of the emerald shiner, a key minnow species in the river's ecosystem. (T.J. Pignataro/Buffalo News)

Left to nature, Broderick Park could rest at the bottom of the Niagara River by 2033.

But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a plan.

The Corps of Engineers is investigating how it can shore up a nearly mile-long stretch of shoreline from the Buffalo wastewater treatment plant to Bird Island Pier.

When the Corps finishes its feasibility study next year, construction could start by 2021 or 2022. But how much it would cost and who would pay for it is still unknown.

“The main purpose is to protect the wastewater treatment plant and the access to it,” said Michael Draganac, the Corps of Engineers’ plan formulator on the project.

Erosion, ice scouring and waves over the years have taken a toll along the more than 80-year-old seawall that separates the Niagara River from the Black Rock Canal.

Water infiltrates spots along the wall and pulls stone and concrete material out of its timbered lathe and cribbing foundation, washing it into the river’s current.

Small sinkholes even crop up along the shoreline at the park and require periodic patching by the City of Buffalo.

In its study of the damage, Corps of Engineers officials reported sections of the concrete seawall and stone-filled timber crib have significantly deteriorated over the past half-century. That threatens the wastewater treatment plant and the park.

 

Published April 5, 2018

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