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$9M flood relief project in design stages

Westchester County has begun design work on a $9 million plan to address chronic flooding along the Bronx River and Sound Shore, with plans to start construction by 2013.

The funds will be divided among seven projects, including four on the Bronx River. Because the river belongs to Westchester County, the county can operate with a minimum of governmental bureaucracy and "continue to do whatever it can on its own," said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

The four Bronx River projects include three that already have cost estimates:

$500,000 in improvements at the Oak Street Station pump station (Mount Vernon, Yonkers).

$1 million for channel realignment and bank stabilization at Garth Woods (Yonkers, Eastchester and Scarsdale).

$700,000 for storm water wetland restoration and stream bank stabilization at Fisher Lane and the Bronx River Parkway (Greenburgh).

Stream bank stabilization and channel modifications in the area of Harney Road (Eastchester, Yonkers).

The county also is sharing half the cost with two municipalities that have initiated their own flood mitigation projects. The county will provide $2.3 million toward Larchmont's plan for drainage improvements along Pine Brook at the Boston Post Road Crossing. In New Rochelle, the county will contribute $2.5 million toward Hutchinson River culvert replacement.

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

Funding for those projects will be raised by issuing county bonds.

Astorino announced his flood mitigation plans Feb. 9 outside the County Center near the river's west bank, where the county and the Army Corps of Engineers are sharing the $1 million cost of restoring its embankment.

In addition to announcing the construction projects, Astorino also provided an update on the county's River Rescue program, which has enlisted volunteers to help clear trash, fallen tree limbs and other debris from the Bronx River. The initiative, which was launched last fall in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene to help reduce future flooding, should be complete by June.

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