Westchester's $800,000 plan to prevent Bronx River flooding moves ahead

Traffic moves on the Bronx River Parkway's southbound Traffic moves on the Bronx River Parkway's southbound direction in White Plains. Construction on the Crane Road Bridge replacement project will close northbound lanes from the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers to the County Center in White Plains on Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (May 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

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An $800,000 solution to chronic flooding of the Bronx River in Greenburgh is moving through the legislative process with high hopes of starting remediation by mid-2013.

As the first step in a $9 million plan to deal with flooding problems on both the river and Sound Shore, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has proposed legislation for an $800,000 bond issue that would fund the initial project, a proposal that will be reviewed by the Board of Legislators and eventually put to a vote.

"If they act on it quickly, construction could start as soon as this summer," Diana Costello, spokeswoman for Astorino's office, said.

The project would restore more than 3 acres of wetlands and riverbanks immediately north of Fisher Lane and east of the Bronx River Parkway. To increase the area's ability to soak up floodwaters, the county plans to regrade and stabilize riverbanks, improve the absorption quality of the wetlands with excavation and plantings and remove invasive and nonnative plants. Inadequate culverts, which are sewers or drains under roadways, also would be replaced.

In March 2012, the county began design work on solving flooding issues in seven areas -- four on the Bronx River and three on the Sound Shore. One project, the $500,000 rewiring of the flooded, nonoperational Oak Street Station pump station in the Mount Vernon/Yonkers area, is already under way and being paid for by insurance reimbursement, Costello said.

The remaining five projects, which each would require bond issues to pay for construction, include $1 million for channel realignment and bank stabilization at Garth Woods (Yonkers, Eastchester and Scarsdale) and stream bank stabilization and channel modifications in the area of Harney Road (Eastchester, Yonkers).

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The county also would pay for half the cost of two municipal project by providing $2.3 million toward Larchmont's plan for drainage improvements along Pine Brook at the Boston Post Road Crossing and contributing $2.5 million toward Hutchinson River culvert replacement in New Rochelle.

In Mamaroneck, the county would cover the entire $2 million cost to replace the sewer line on Anita Lane.

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