U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District completes repair of Buffalo North Breakwater

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District contractor Ryba Marine Construction Co. repairs 750 feet of the north end of the Buffalo Harbor north breakwater, Buffalo, NY, September 10, 2021.

“It is an exciting time for Buffalo’s waterfront,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “This federal investment will protect the water’s edge and support safe and efficient commercial and recreational boating.”

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo North Breakwater has been repaired after one section was breached by a severe storm in Oct. 2019.

The storm caused extensive damage to the approximately 2,200-foot breakwater structure, including the 300-foot breach in the north end. Fixing its crest and slopes using a rubble mound armor stone overlay, the breach was repaired in less than two months. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co., all helped fix the damage.

Repairs to 400 additional feet of the north end and 425 feet of the south end of the structure will be completed in 2022.

Two more work packages have been approved in the Fiscal Year 2022 President’s budget for repair to the south head and middle section of the breakwater. Design of those sections has already begun, with a contract award expected in summer 2022.

“The breakwater serves an important role in the protection of Buffalo’s waterfront and watercraft,” said Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26). “Damage to the wall was extensive and repairs were critically needed.”

Deep water wave and ice action, along with age, has contributed to breakdown of the 120-year-old structure over time. Significant repairs were last completed in 1984.

“Navigation structures like the Buffalo North Breakwater are critical to the Great Lakes Navigation System,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, USACE Buffalo District Commander. “Repairs to the aging structure are an investment in safety and coastal resiliency. Without the continued support by our federally elected officials, this project would not be possible.”

The Buffalo North Breakwater allows for safe navigation between Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie. It also protects the Erie Basin Marina, Buffalo’s federal navigation channel and coastal shoreline.

Repairs to the Buffalo North Breakwater are 100% federally funded.

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