Work is under way to upgrade Amsterdam’s flood protection system, which saved the city’s South Side from tropical storms Irene and Lee.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated the 3,200-foot-long concrete wall, pumping station and retention pond preserved more than $13 million in property, but last year’s storms, as well as age, have taken a toll on the 47-year-old system.
Built in 1965 under the direction of the corps, the flood protection system includes a 10-foot-tall concrete wall stretching from the Route 30 bridge along the Mohawk River, then south along the eastern shore of the South Chuctanunda Creek to just south of Florida Avenue.
Contractors working for the corps were able to begin work recently now that the Mohawk River water levels are minimal, agency spokesman Christopher P. Gardner said this week.
Bank erosion sustained during last year’s massive flooding is the focus of the current work.
The state Canal Corp. closed the canal system Nov. 15, pulling up the movable dam infrastructure and turning the waterway from a series of deep lakes back to a shallower, narrower, free-flowing river.
The corps in July awarded a $703,000 contract to DiIorio Construction for projects in Amsterdam, Ellenville, Rosendale and Kingston aimed at restoring flood protection systems to pre-Irene levels of protection.
Meanwhile, the flood control system is also the focus of work on the part of state Department of Environmental Conservation. The state announced in July work orders were issued for several flood control projects, including $379,000 for work in Amsterdam that includes fixing a broken pump station door and broken conduit and installing an emergency generator.
Property surveys were also commissioned in an effort to ensure adequate right of way access to the flood control projects so vegetation — which could clog pipes in high water — isn’t impacting the flood control system.
The DEC also planned to inspect the piping in the system for any issues.
Program personnel involved in the project were in the field Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for an update, according to the DEC Region 4 press office.
City Engineer Richard Miller said Tuesday all the work under way is being paid for by the federal and state governments.