MTA plans major drainage improvements at Ossining, Riverdale

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The MTA is planning major drainage improvements in Ossining and Riverdale.

Heavy rains turn the Sing Sing Creek in Ossining and West 254th Street in Riverdale into rivers that cascade right onto Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line tracks. But now, both trouble spots are getting fixed.

In Riverdale, thanks to a pending agreement between the railroad and the city, a solution is at hand, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday.

The MTA agreed to give the city a sublease for the New York City Department of Environmental Conservation's installation of catch basins and pipes on MTA property on Railroad Terrace and a portion of the Riverdale Station parking lot so that stormwater will be diverted to an existing outfall at 255th Street and not onto Metro-North tracks.

The MTA board on Wednesday approved the sublease and waived the $1-a-year rent in recognition of the public purpose and benefit of the project. The DEP will pay all costs to install and maintain the stormwater improvements, the release said.

Metro-North will work with the DEP to maintain customer access to the station, by pedestrians, automobiles and Hudson RailLink buses, during the construction.

In Ossining, Sing Sing Creek drains a watershed area of nearly 5 square miles. When it rains heavily, it frequently flows across the tracks just north of the station, flooding them and the station parking lot.

This drainage project will excavate deposited sediments from the streambed below the tracks. This 42-foot-wide section of stream also will be lined with a thick concrete channel bottom to improve water flow and facilitate future maintenance, the release said.

As part of the project, sediments also will be removed from areas that are the responsibility of the Village of Ossining including the culverts beneath the parking lot and the open stream between the parking lot culverts and Water Street. This will prevent their migration into the channel and bridges downstream.

The total volume of accumulated silt and debris to be removed is estimated at 1,400 cubic yards.

Ossining is partnering with Metro-North to remove another 90 cubic yards of silt that is 250 feet upstream of the railroad property. This work will be performed as part of Metro-North's project, to be reimbursed by the village, the release said.

The design was completed last summer and a construction contract was awarded in December to Eastern Excavation Inc. for $1.4 million. The village is contributing an estimated $113,000, with help from Assemb. Sandra Galef, who secured $80,000 in capital reserve funding toward the Village portion, the release said.

"I am very pleased that MTA capital funds apportioned through the Assembly to local districts can be put to good use in Ossining to improve the area near the train station and help guard against future flooding," Galef said in the release. "As climate change continues to bring more extreme weather conditions, I anticipate we will be seeing more mitigation projects like this one where different government entities will partner for the long term public good."

"We sincerely hope that this cooperative project will solve the long-term problem of storm-related flooding on the east side of the tracks, where we are actively pursuing the construction of a transit oriented development," Ossining Mayor William Hanauer said.

Field activities in Ossining are expected to begin in early April and be completed by September this year, the release said.

In the Bronx, a $3.6 million contract was awarded to MFM Contracting Corp. of Mamaroneck for a two-year project about to begin in the area between Mott Haven and Fordham. This includes installation of under drains and connection of these local systems to New York City sewer lines that cross below the tracks at 12 different locations, the release said.

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