U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Updates Civic on Spring Creek Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Updates Civic on Spring Creek Project

PHOTO:  U.S. ACE Project Manager Lisa Baron fielded questions from the community Tuesday night after presenting an update to the Spring Creek Hazard Mitigation Grant Program at the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic meeting.  Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday updated the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic on the Spring Creek South Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

USACE Project Manager Lisa Baron recapped the details of the ecosystem restoration project, which aims to restore 28 acres of habitat, more than 12 acres of inter-tidal salt marsh, and 16 acres of coastal grassland and maritime shrubland combined to a portion of Spring Creek Park located adjacent to the banks of Spring Creek and Ralph’s Creek, in northern Jamaica Bay.

In September, the state Department of Environmental Conservation notified Community Board 10 that investigatory fieldwork, part of Phase I—Engineering Design and Permitting—would begin in early October and continue through January 2016, and include soils and water sampling, subsurface testing, and biological, topographic, aerial, and bathymetric surveying. The data collected during will inform the design of the project.

Phase I will cost $3.34 million, and is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Upon Phase I approval, Phase II—Construction—is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2017. Funding for Phase II totals roughly $66 million, with an estimated 18-month build time.

The main project goal is to reduce damages to the Howard Beach community from future storm events, DEC has said. Other mitigation objectives, Baron said on Tuesday, include natural, or nature-based, features to manage coastal storm risk; an integrated approach to provide storm protection and ecosystem restoration benefits; to improve sustainability and resilience of area; and be consistent with National Park Service management goals.

Baseline Data Collection (Geotechnical Investigation – Soil Borings) in November and December will have some impact on the surrounding communities of Howard Beach and Lindenwood. Baron said the work day is 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and one pick-up truck will be on 165th Street at the start and end of each day. This is expected to last roughly two to three weeks.

The Baseline Data Collection (Contaminant Characterization – Soil Sampling) also in November and December will include the same operational hours and traffic as Geotech, and the delivery of a Geoprobe and brush hog on-site. Duration: Five to six weeks from start.

“We have to make sure that we protect your transportation infrastructure,” Baron added.

State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has said that the work at Spring Creek will undoubtedly impact the Howard Beach and Lindenwood communities—however, it is vital.

“Inconvenience is the word,” he noted in September, adding that he anticipates noise will be a prevalent issue. “But, long term—[the projects] protect us.”

By Michael V. Cusenza

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