The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District has marked a submerged stone wall at the entrance to Shipping Slip 3 to remind boaters of its presence as they transit the Buffalo Outer Harbor.
The opening of the slip is now identified by white cylinder buoys labeled with the ‘Hazard Warning’ orange diamond and read “DANGER.” Each of the buoys have clear solar lights with a two-mile range affixed to the top. The buoys floating at water level are to remind boaters of the submerged breakwater laying beneath.
This season’s construction, which started in September and concluded on Oct. 19, included placement of 17,200 tons of bedding stone at the opening of Slip 3. The bedding stone is expected to displace silty sediment at the bottom of the slip and settle over the winter.
USACE and Ryba Marine Construction Co. will resume construction in 2024, with placement of additional bedding stone, followed by 4.8 feet of underlayer stone and 7.2 feet of armor stone. The completed breakwater will extend across the entire mouth of the slip, with a portion submerged to allow for connectivity to Lake Erie and the increased health of the future wetlands. Construction of the breakwater (Phase 1) is expected to conclude in September 2024.
Hazard marker buoys will stay in place until underlayer stone is placed next season. Additional project information and safety signage will be installed along Fuhrman Boulevard, outside Slip 3, and neighboring Wilkeson Pointe to keep the public informed and help ensure safety at the site.
In partnership with Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, the overall $14.8 million project aims to reverse coastal wetland degradation in the Niagara River system and across the Great Lakes. Decades of industrial development and hardening of shorelines has diminished fish nursery and spawning habitats in these areas.
Renderings of the site are available at: https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ECHDC-slip-No3-images.pdf
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