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Posted on: July 22, 2021

City of Albany Highlights Construction of the Beaver Creek Clean River Project

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Contact: David Galin

ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan was joined by Commissioner Joseph Coffey, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Joseph Rabito, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 4 Director Tony Luisi, Assemblymember John McDonald, City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, Council President Corey Ellis, Councilmember Catherine Fahey, Albany Water Board Chairman Chuck Houghton, and Martin Daley of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission to highlight the ongoing construction of the Beaver Creek Clean River Project – the most environmentally beneficial project undertaken by the Albany Water Department in decades.

The project will screen and disinfect more than 300 million gallons of combined sewer overflows annually from the Beaver Creek Sewer, which is the largest contributor of overflows to the Hudson River in the Capital Region – thereby ending a centuries-old source of pollution to the Hudson River, benefiting our entire region, and enhancing water recreation opportunities along Albany’s Waterfront.

In addition to the regional impacts, the City of Albany also took the opportunity to address serious quality of life issues in the neighborhood by eliminating the sewage that percolates near the Delaware Avenue/Park Avenue intersection during high water events & their associated odors. This worked will allow the City to open up the northwest corner of the park to pedestrians and create community & outdoor educational space for students at TOAST and Hackett Middle School.

The Albany Pool Communities joined together in a comprehensive inter-municipal venture, led by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC), to develop a regional CSO Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). These communities include Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Troy and Watervliet and the Village of Green Island. The Project is a component of the LTCP that has an overall cost of approximately $55 million. The Project has received a $10 million Intermunicipal Grant through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation and a $5 million Grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The bulk of construction activity is occurring in the northwest corner of Lincoln Park, the Lincoln Park Bowl, as well as along S. Hawk and Third Avenue. Construction will occur in multiple phases until December 2022. Detailed construction schedules will be updated throughout the Project and posted here.

The Beaver Creek Project has also provided the opportunity to revitalize the Bowl Fields in Lincoln Park – years ahead of schedule – as identified in the Lincoln Park Master Plan. The excavated dirt from the Project will be used to raise the Bowl by 2 to 3 feet. This includes regrading of the field, improving drainage, installing new grass and will save the City of Albany approximately $1 million that will later be invested into Lincoln Park. This work will also eliminate the need for thousands of dump truck trips through the South End Neighborhood to remove the dirt. The City is working closely with the community on the design for the new Bowl fields. A community working group meeting was held on June 23 and more than 300 responses to a community survey were submitted. Final design for the field will be available for public review around the end of August. Learn more

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “My administration has invested more than $50 million in water and sewer infrastructure in the past seven years – more than the 20 years prior, combined. This additional $55 million investment will be the most environmentally impactful project the Albany Water Department has completed in decades and is yet another example of my administration’s commitment to replacing our aging infrastructure, creating benefits for the entire region, enhancing water recreation opportunities along our waterfront, and resolving serious quality of life issues decades in the making. Thank you to Commissioner Coffey for his leadership, to our Albany Pool Communities for their vision, and to New York State for their support of this critical investment.

Albany Water Commissioner Joe Coffey said, “When thinking about my career as Commissioner and in the private sector, this will be the accomplishment I am most proud of. The environmental benefits for our community and the region will have long lasting impacts for our quality of life and the health of the Hudson River. I am also continually impressed with the amount of work and coordination that our staff, board members, consultants, partners and engaged community members have invested into this Project.”

Assemblymember John McDonald said, “Supporting our water and sewer infrastructure has been priority for me as a state legislator and as a former Mayor. In 2006 I convened the Mayors of the 6 Albany Pool Communities to work on our priority of improving the water quality of our beautiful Hudson River by eliminating the hundreds of combined server overflows (CSO's) in the region. Working together we took what was an estimated $500 million project that would have been financially infeasible to a more manageable project size with the EPA and DEC desired outcomes. Thankfully, Mayors like Mayor Sheehan recognize the importance of this long-term effort and the Beaver Creek project is a major component of the overall plan. Understanding the importance of these investments, state funding supports this project and funding has been committed from the NYS Budget and previous budgets for water infrastructure. Thank you to the City of Albany, the City of Albany Water Department, NYS EFC, NYS DEC, and the Capital District Regional Planning Commission for all of the work toward the Beaver Creek Clean River Project."

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “The Beaver Creek Cleanup Project is a testament to City of Albany’s long-term, strategic investments in infrastructure that improve quality life for its residents. Additionally, with rainfall and precipitation amounts set to increase amidst a rapidly changing climate in the Northeast, this project will help reduce the frequency and severity of potential flooding in the surrounding area. I’m proud to have helped secure a grant to share the cost of this critical project with my Capital Region legislative colleagues and commend Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan for getting this done.”

New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Joseph Rabito said, “Partnerships like this one between New York State and Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Troy and Watervliet and the Village of Green Island to upgrade their water infrastructure show the positive, tangible outcomes for people and communities that result when government works together. EFC is very pleased that we are able to assist by funding a large portion the project through low-cost State Revolving Fund loans and a $10 million Intermunicipal Grant.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York State is committed to investing in critical infrastructure projects like the city of Albany’s sustained efforts to upgrade its aging water infrastructure to protect community assets and our environment. Today marks a critical milestone in the progress of the Beaver Creek Clean River Project, which will both help to improve the water quality of the Hudson River and protect the health of our environment. I commend Mayor Sheehan and her team for continuing to advance resiliency projects like Beaver Creek, which will benefit Albany residents for years to come.” 

Martin Daley, Director of Water Quality Programs for Capital District Regional Planning Commission said, “The Beaver Creek Clean River Project is the largest and most impactful project Albany Pool Communities Long Term Control Plan. Our plan, an unprecedented partnership between six Hudson River Communities and two County Sewer Districts, is a one-of-a-kind jointly funded effort to improve water quality and protect public health on a regional scale. We’d like to commend municipal and county leadership for their vision and trust in joining together to implement this program and we are optimistic this shared approach can be a national model for community partnerships.”

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