City of Plattsburgh Breaks Ground on Harbor Repairs
Rep. Owens, Col. Boule, Mayor Kasprzak join in praising project
Jul 6, 2010 -
Today, Congressman Bill Owens was joined by Col. John R. Boulé, commander, Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, and Plattsburgh City Mayor Donald Kasprzak to break ground on the repair of Plattsburgh Breakwater site. The project is expected to spur economic development and create jobs in the area, as well as repair the 100 year old Plattsburgh Harbor rock breakwater.
"Repairing our aging infrastructure is critical to both the safety of our community as well as attracting new businesses to Clinton County," Owens said. "I would like to thank everyone involved for making this project possible, and I congratulate the tremendous work done here by Mayor Kasprzak, Col. Boulé, and the entire New York District of the Army Corps of Engineers."
On July 30, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, awarded a $1.9 million contract to a local small business, J.E. Sheehan Contracting Corporation of Potsdam, to repair the breakwater as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The work will repair deteriorated and subsided portions of the breakwater to return the structure to its original design elevation and help protect Plattsburgh Harbor from wind-driven waves. Contractors will be placing approximately 22,000 tons of stone during the project. The scheduled completion date is November 17, 2010.
"No project is more important than this one," said Col. John Boulé, commander, Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. "This stimulus act-funded repair provides jobs that are sorely needed and supports the Corps' small business goals while improving boater safety in Plattsburgh. Lots of winners here."
“As Mayor, I appreciate the involvement of Col. John Boulé in this project and the support Of Congressman Owens. The repair and preservation of The Breakwater is very important to the entire area,” said Mayor Donald Kasprzak.
The Plattsburgh breakwater is an historic structure, located in Plattsburgh Bay, that protects the harbor of the city of Plattsburgh. The breakwater is 1,550 feet in length, and consists primarily of a series of stone-filled timber cribs, or caissons, capped with large granite capstones. Similar construction techniques are found in the breakwater that protects the harbor of the city of Burlington, Vermont. Authorization to construct the initial 850 feet of the breakwater was given by Congress in 1836, and construction began in 1838.
The last repairs occurred in 1971, when new stonework was added to the north end. The breakwater has now failed along much of its length, and is no longer capable of performing its function of protecting Plattsburgh Harbor. Construction first began on the breakwater in 1836.
The need for repairs was determined when the Corps of Engineers and Northern Ecological Associates of Canton recorded 1200 feet of the historic structure of the breakwater. They examined the entire harbor face of the structure, and found several different construction styles which coincide with the periods of construction. Data gathered included video, site descriptions, and annotated drawings. Underwater investigations focused primarily on obtaining information regarding construction techniques, as well as historic damage and repairs. It was discovered that three types of timber caisson, coinciding with the three phases of construction, were used in the structure. These timber caissons utilized two different types of timber frame joints in their construction. It was concluded that the newest section of the breakwater, constructed between 1890 and 1896, was in the best condition with respect to integrity.
# # #