LEWISTON — After high water levels damaged facilities along Lewiston Landing in 2017, work to repair that damage was halted earlier this year due to the same problem. But now, the village engineer says the project is finally nearing completion. 

In 2017, when the significant rise in the lake's water level was causing trouble for many Niagara County waterfront property owners, the docks and boardwalk on Lewiston's waterfront took quite a bit of damage, said Mike Marino, village engineer and CEO of Nussbaumer and Clarke. The village decided to close down the marina until they could come up with a way to address the damage.

"(The village had to) work with insurance and FEMA to try to figure out what type of repairs to do down there," Marino said. "They wanted you to put things sort of back the way they were ... which in this case was a fixed dock, put it back at same elevation ... but we were concerned with Lake Ontario flooding and if that could happen again." 

In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to make funding available to help communities impacted by flooding address at-risk infrastructure and public safety concerns through his Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). Marino said he felt the Village's project was in line with the Governor's goals and submitted it for consideration. 

The village was ultimately awarded $1.2 million toward the $2 million project. Marino said the extra funding covered the additional work that would ensure the Landing was prepared to survive and future high water levels, as opposed to just restoring what had already been there. 

"We were getting money from FEMA to put it back to the normal level, but the Village was putting extra money in," Marino said. "So that $1.2 million actually represents the money above and beyond the 2017 storm damage." 

Some of the improvements made to Lewiston Landing that were designed to help adapt to any future issues with water level include the installation of floating docks and Marino said the whole area was elevated by about 2 feet. On the North End, a fishing pier which was destroyed in the 2017 flooding was replaced and docks that were damaged around the same time were repaired. 

Despite work being briefly stalled again earlier this year due to low temperatures, Marino said the "key elements" are now in place and all that remains are the finishing touches. If all goes according to plan, he said the project will be finished the second week in December. 

"No one's going to want to be pulling their boat up to dock in December," Marino laughed. But next spring, it should be great." 

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