$5.9 million in Oswego Harbor/Lighthouse repairs slated for late summer/early fall

The 2018 repair of the West Arrowhead Breakwater. Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers.

OSWEGO – New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced they’d secured $5.9 million for repairs on Oswego Harbor’s West Arrowhead Breakwater and the Oswego Lighthouse as part of the bipartisan omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year 2022.

According to Deputy Chief of Public Affairs Avery Schneider of the Buffalo district of the Army Corps of Engineers, work will begin this summer or fall on repair to the breakwall and lighthouse.

The first, and most crucial, Schneider said, will be repair of the lighthouse foundation, “what we call the wraparound structure. When they go in and do this repair work,” he said, “there’s going to be three layers to it. There’s bedding stone, which is smaller, underlayer stone, which is middle-sized, you’re talking about stones that are four to eight tons, and then on top of that is arbor stone, which is larger, and that can be a few tons up to the realm of 20 tons per stone.”

The repair will have the look of the repair that was done in 2018-2019, Schneider said. “The intent is to match what you see out there.”

The solicitation for bids on the work are going out now and are expected back by May 9. Until then, Schneider said, “the final cost of the project won’t be certain.”

This project will be paid for “with current funding from the FY22 President’s budget,” Schneider said. “And in the FY23 President’s budget, that has an allocation for additional funding to complete repairs a little nearer to shore.” Schneider did not have details on when the FY23 work would begin.

That work, too, will most likely take on the look of previous repairs to other parts of the breakwall.

“Typically, what they try to do is match the design all the way through,” Schneider said, “though I can’t say for 100% certain yet. They’re still working on designs.”

Schneider noted “this breakwall is really essential for safe navigation out there on the harbor. As we do these repairs, we try to prioritize the most damaged sections first and most critical spots. That wraparound section of the lighthouse is right now the most critical section.”

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