Congressman Higgins Announces Start of Construction at Coast Guard Site
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced the beginning of construction on a project that will consolidate facilities at Sector Buffalo for the U.S. Coast Guard. The work, made possible with federal funding secured by Congressman Higgins, will allow for public access to a new section of the Outer Harbor including the historic Buffalo Lighthouse.
“With this project we continue to build on our effort to deliver unprecedented access and opportunity to the Buffalo waterfront,” said Congressman Higgins. “This work has the dual purpose of beginning the upgrading and reconfiguring Coast Guard facilities, some of which are over 7 decades old, and reviving a portion of the water’s edge which is home to one of Buffalo’s historic landmarks and has been closed to the public for years.”
Congressman Higgins first secured $3.1 million for the Coast Guard consolidation project in 2008 working in conjunction with then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Later that year, Congressman Higgins secured an additional $3 million for the work, bringing a total of $6.1 million to the Buffalo waterfront project.
Phase I of the project will incorporate enhancements to provide park benches, improvements to the existing brick walking path, lighting, and decorative security fencing where consistent with the long-term perimeter of the Sector Buffalo recapitalization plan.
The lead contractor on the site is Iroquois Bar Corp., a local company based in Lackawanna, NY. Iroquois Bar will be working with Union Concrete and Construction Corp., based in West Seneca, Scrufari Construction Company out of Niagara Falls and Beardsley Design Associates, Inc. of Syracuse on the Coast Guard project. Iroquois was awarded the contract through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Business development program, created to help small businesses compete in the marketplace and gain access to federal and private contracts.
Phase I will cost $3.8 million and the public access improvements will be completed by this fall to coincide with the October National Preservation Conference in Buffalo. Built in 1833, the Buffalo "Chinaman's Lighthouse," which sits on the Coast Guard property is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Public Access to the Lighthouse has been limited due to post-9/11 security requirements.
This project is the latest in a series of Outer Harbor improvements advanced by Congressman Higgins. Last fall work was completed on the Outer Harbor Parkway which begins at the entrance to the Coast Guard site. Earlier this month Erie Canal Harbor Corporation awarded $170,700 in New York Power Authority relicensing agreement funds secured by Higgins for masonry repair and stonework on the actual Lighthouse structure.
Higgins is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security which has jurisdiction over Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Sector Buffalo provides search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine safety and security, aids-to-navigation, recreational boating safety, marine environmental response, and ice operations services to the public. Its area of responsibility includes Lake Erie from Lorain, Ohio to Buffalo, New York, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Massena, New York.