BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D- N.Y.) is calling for federal funding to build a new barrier between Route 5 and the crashing waters of Lake Erie.
Sen. Schumer is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize funding for a new barrier along Route 5, which serves as the main artery between downtown Buffalo and the Southtowns. The roadway carries over 40,000 vehicles per day.
The roadway is currently protected by a sea wall that’s “crumbling” and over a century old, a press release from Sen. Schumer’s office said.
“Without critical federal funding, drivers are at direct risk – especially during the winter, when the water freezes almost immediately creating even more dangerous conditions,” the press release stated.
The conditions also have an economic impact on the region, as officials are often forced to close the roadway during winter months, the press release stated.
While today is a beautiful day here in Western New York, anyone who has driven along Route 5 in the winter, during a really brutal storm, knows that this road can be treacherous,” said Sen. Schumer. “My message to the top brass at the United States Army Corps of Engineers is simple: prioritize this project, channel the resources needed and rebuild this crumbling lake-front wall on Route 5 now.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished the design for the project, which would span approximately 1,325 feet and include a 15-foot “splash apron”. The wall would protect the road against higher water levels and enable water to drain more quickly from the area. The barrier will also double as a pedestrian walkway along the shoreline.