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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District completes significant repair of Buffalo North Breakwater

Buffalo District
Published Oct. 13, 2021
Updated: Oct. 13, 2021
Large rocks piled to form a breakwater in water, with a city skyline in the background.

Completed repairs to the section of the Buffalo North Breakwater breached by a severe storm in October 2019 are shown in Buffalo, New York, September 30. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co. repaired in less than two months in 2021. (U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. Stacey Acapana)

Large rocks piled to form a breakwater in water, with a city skyline in the background.

Completed repairs to the section of the Buffalo North Breakwater breached by a severe storm in October 2019 are shown in Buffalo, New York, September 30. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co. repaired in less than two months in 2021. (U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. Stacey Acapana)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co., have completed repairs to the section of the Buffalo North Breakwater breached by a severe storm in October 2019.

The storm caused extensive damage to the approximately 2,200-foot breakwater structure, including the 300-foot breach in the north end. Fixing its crest and slopes using a rubble mound armor stone overlay, the breach was repaired in less than two months.

Repairs to 400 additional feet of the north end and 425 feet of the south end of the structure will be completed in 2022. A contract award for work on the south end was awarded to Ryba Marine Construction Co. on September 22 for $4.79 million.

Two more work packages have been approved in the Fiscal Year 2022 President’s budget for repair to the south head and middle section of the breakwater. Design of those sections is commencing, with a contract award expected in summer 2022.

“The breakwater serves an important role in the protection of Buffalo’s waterfront and watercraft. Damage to the wall was extensive and repairs were critically needed. We are grateful to the Army Corps Buffalo District for their leadership on this project and continued stewardship of Western New York waterways,” said Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26).

“Navigation structures like the Buffalo North Breakwater are critical to the Great Lakes Navigation System,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, USACE Buffalo District Commander. “Repairs to the aging structure are an investment in safety and coastal resiliency. Without the continued support by our federally elected officials, this project would not be possible.”

The Buffalo North Breakwater was originally constructed in 1901 to protect the opening to the Black Rock Canal. The breakwater allows for safe navigation between Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie. It also protects the Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo’s federal navigation channel and coastal shoreline. Deep water wave and ice action, along with age, has contributed to breakdown of the structure over time. Significant repairs were last completed in 1984.

Repairs to the Buffalo North Breakwater are 100% federally funded.

The waterfront protected by the breakwater includes infrastructure which benefits the nation and enables the transportation of about 122.3 million tons of cargo annually, supports 147,500 U.S. jobs, and helps generate $20.3 billion in U.S. business revenue.

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.

Additional photos of this project available at: https://flickr.com/photos/buffalousace/albums/72157719846485752


Contact
Avery Schneider
716-879-4410
716-628-1498 (cell)
avery.p.schneider@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-020

Chick Lock

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