Great Sodus Bay Breakwater Repair Out for Proposals

May 15, 2024

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer speaks about current conditions and about upcoming work on the Great Sodus Bay East Breakwater during a press conference in Sodus Point, N.Y., May 6, 2024. (Photo: Avery Schneider / U.S. Army)
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer speaks about current conditions and about upcoming work on the Great Sodus Bay East Breakwater during a press conference in Sodus Point, N.Y., May 6, 2024. (Photo: Avery Schneider / U.S. Army)

A  work package from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District for repairs to the Great Sodus Bay East Breakwater is officially out for proposals.

$20 million dollars is already allocated toward the 100% federally funded project, marking the largest investment ever in Great Sodus Bay by the Corps of Engineers.

U.S Senator Charles Schumer said, “I was proud to deliver the $20 million needed to fix the aging Great Sodus Bay breakwater last year to kickstart repairs and now we can finally say, ‘ready, set, start building!’ The Great Sodus Bay East Breakwater is vital to protecting this Lake Ontario community from violent floods, but for years has been in a state of disrepair, threatening residents’ safety and livelihood. Today, we are turning a corner and ready to move full steam to embark on these much-needed upgrades.”

“The Village of Sodus Point appreciates the perseverance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District in requesting the monies to repair the east breakwater for the last several years. We also appreciate their prompt attention to the project once funds became available. Senator Schumer and his staff pushed hard for the money on our behalf. Thank you, Senator Schumer. The east breakwater protects not only several businesses and residents in the village, it also protects the integrity of Great Sodus Bay itself,” said Village of Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell.

“The Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works mission is a key component of the nation’s public infrastructure, ensuring safe navigation and providing economic and quality of life improvements in communities like Sodus Point,” said Joshua Feldmann, chief of the USACE Buffalo District Operations and Regulatory Division. “We’re excited to make this substantial investment in the community and its future.”

The history of the Corps of Engineers in Great Sodus Bay dates to a survey in 1828 when breakwaters and piers were proposed. The original wooden structures were built from 1829 to 1834 and rebuilt with concrete between 1909 and 1930. In the more than 90 years since reconstruction, deterioration from wave action, ice, and storms on Lake Ontario has left the bay’s east breakwater at risk of failure.

USACE’s project will repair the full 1,653-foot length of the breakwater over two construction seasons. Building on top of the original timber crib and concrete cap structure, construction will return the breakwater to its original height, seven feet above the lowest water level.

The work package was put out for proposals on May 3. A contract award is scheduled for June/July. Construction is targeted to begin in August with completion by fall 2025.

The work package is open to a pool of seven qualified marine contractors under a Multiple Award Task Order Contract. With a significant influx of marine work across the Great Lakes, the MATOC gives the Corps of Engineers the ability to quickly solicit and award marine construction projects. The pool of potential contractors for this project includes large businesses, as well as veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, disadvantaged, and HubZone-certified small businesses.

Great Sodus Bay’s breakwaters provide safe navigation and protection from erosion along New York’s shoreline. With more than six marinas and 1,000 slips available for rent, recreational activities facilitated by the harbor support $24.7 million in economic output, 148 jobs, and $8.9 million in labor income to the nation.

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