Albany Update

NY State Awards $215M In Water Quality Funding

ALBANY—In separate announcements on Feb. 15, New York announced awards of more than $166 million in grants to 187 water quality projects throughout the state. In addition, the Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors had approved over $49 million in direct financial assistance for water infrastructure improvement projects across New York State.

The grants support projects that will help protect drinking water, update aging water infrastructure, combat contributors to harmful algae blooms, and improve aquatic habitat in communities statewide. More than $101 million of the funding will support water quality improvements for environmental justice communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution.

More than $146 million was awarded to 81 projects through the Water Quality Improvement Project grant program administered by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The WQIP grant program supports projects that will directly improve water quality or aquatic habitat, promote flood risk reduction, restoration, and enhanced flood and climate resiliency, or protect a drinking water source. An additional $2 million is being awarded to 35 projects through the Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Mapping Grant to fund projects that help pay for the initial planning of non-agricultural nonpoint source water quality improvement projects, such as undersized culvert replacements and green infrastructure technologies, and state permit-required storm sewer mapping in urban areas. These projects will reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff entering lakes, rivers, and streams, and improve resiliency against the impacts of climate change.

The state is also awarding $18 million through the Green Innovation Grant Program and Engineering Planning Grants administered by the Environmental Facilities Corporation. Of that, $15 million in GIGP will support projects that help mitigate the effects of climate change in environmental justice communities. An additional $3 million in EPG will help 61 municipalities develop engineering reports to support their efforts to better leverage state and federal funding and advance fiscally sound and well-designed projects to construction. The EFC also announced today that it is removing the 300,000-population threshold as part of the hardship financing eligibility criteria.

The WQIP awards include funding provided by the Long Island Sound Study. More than $5.8 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will support improvements of the Port Washington Water Pollution Control District’s treatment plant in Nassau County. The funding will be used to rehabilitate approximately 16,000 linear feet of gravity sewer main within its collection system to reduce sanitary sewer overflows. These improvements will bolster efforts to improve Manhasset Bay’s water quality and support ongoing work to restore the Long Island Sound.

Local projects that secured grant funding included the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District, which was granted $180,000 under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Mapping program for Three Towns MS4 Mapping (Hudson Valley): The Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District will work with the towns of LaGrange, Pleasant Valley, and Hyde Park to complete basic MS4 mapping elements. The district will complete field work to locate and inventory the storm sewer conveyance systems and structures which will include pipes, ditches, catch basins, and outfalls. The project will assist the towns in further tracking, inspection, and maintenance of their stormwater conveyance systems.

The City of Mount Vernon and the New York City DEP were awarded funding under the GIPG program, which supports projects across the state that utilize green stormwater infrastructure design and green technologies.

The City of Mount Vernon will receive $3 million in grants to revitalize the Fourth Street Park with green infrastructure practices including bioretention, rain gardens and porous pavement. This project will alleviate flooding at the Fourth Street Park and help improve the water quality of the Hutchinson River. The award complements New York State’s $150 million commitment to modernize Mount Vernon’s aging infrastructure and reverse the effects of decades of disinvestment for this environmental justice community.

The New York City DEP has secured $3 million in grants to transform multiple streets into green streets in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The city will retrofit the medians with bioretention and stormwater street trees to help reduce runoff and combined sewer overflows to the East River and Jamaica Bay.

The Environmental Facilities Corp.’s recent approval of $49 million in direct water infrastructure financing, includes more than $20 million from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. A $13-million grant for the Buffalo Sewer Authority will modernize the 1970s-era secondary treatment system at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Locally, the Village of Mount Kisco secured a $2.375-million Water Infrastructure Improvement grant for the planning, design, and construction of improvements to the Saw Mill Pump Station and replacement of the Branch Brook Trunk Sewer.

Work Begins on $161M Job to Rehab Bridges in Queens

ALBANY—New York State officials announced on Feb. 9 the start of a $161-million project to rehabilitate seven bridges along the Grand Central Parkway between Union Turnpike and Commonwealth Boulevard in Queens, NY.

The project, supported by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will replace the concrete bridge decks on three of the structures and make significant repairs and structural upgrades to all the remaining crossings. It will enhance safety and improve mobility and resiliency along a vital travel corridor that handles approximately 300,000 vehicles a day. The project will also extend the service life of each of the structures, which were built in the 1970s, by as much as 40 years and reduce long-term maintenance costs.

NYSDOT announced in November 2023 the best value selection of design-build team Posillico Civil Inc., with Parsons Transportation Group/ Lockwood and Kessler & Bartlett, Inc. The Posillico Civil team won the designbuild contract over three other proposals with a total proposal price of $161,080,820.00.

The project will replace the concrete bridge decks, pedestals and steel bearings on the bridges carrying the Grand Central Parkway over Winchester Boulevard and Cross Island Parkway, Vanderbilt Parkway; and the ramp from northbound Cross Island Parkway to the westbound Grand Central Parkway. Additionally, repairs will be made to the structural steel beams and the concrete on the pier columns and abutments. New paint will be added to the structural steel and the bridge railings will be replaced with concrete barriers.

The remaining four bridges will be repaired, improving their overall condition and extending their service life. These include the bridge carrying Grand Central Parkway over Union Turnpike, two bridges carrying the westbound Grand Central Parkway service road over the northbound and southbound Cross Island Parkway, and the ramp from southbound Cross Island Parkway to eastbound Grand Central Parkway over Alley Pond Road.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.

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