Design work for rebuilding the seawall along Route 5, in Hamburg, was recently completed. And now U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to fund the project.
Outside Hoak's Restaurant, overlooking the crumbling seawall along Route 5, Schumer said Thursday, the Army Corps should get the project done.
"There are accidents here and everything else. In the summer you get splashing on your windshield. But in the winter the road ices over," Schumer said.
Town of Hamburg Police Chief, Gregory Wickett says, Route 5 near Big Tree Road was closed 3-or-4 times this past winter.
"And I think the fact that the lake didn't freeze last year - usually ice takes care of the situation to some degree. But there was no ice to block the water from coming all the way up to the road. So there were pieces of driftwood. And windshields were getting frozen right over. So it got to the point where it was completely unsafe to drive and we had to shut it down. In one case, I think, for 24 hours we had it closed," Wickett said.
Heavy wave action, Schumer says, could also cause the wall to collapse and force the road to be closed much longer. He says that would cause big problems for the 40,000 vehicles that travel Route 5 each day. The Senate Minority Leader says, the project should be a higher priority than many other Army Corps projects.
"I promise the residents of Hamburg and the Southtowns, and all of Western New York, I'm going to do everything I can to put this project at the top of the list and get the wall built, ASAP, so the danger on Route 5 recedes," Schumer said.
The cost of the project is just over $2 million. Schumer says, Congress already allocated the money so the getting the job done is now up to the Army Corps of Engineers.