New Lake Ontario break wall ideas a blast from the past

Local News

After shattered break walls, residents looking for help with solutions

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — In addition to experiencing heavy flooding in 2019, some living along the Lake Ontario shoreline had their concrete break walls shattered when enormous waves smashed into them.

Douglas Dobson, President of the Crescent Beach Association, is one of those residents, and he wants to build new barriers along the beach.

Dobson says through all the damage this year, there’s one break wall nearby on Edgemere Drive that has gone unscathed for decades. “After all these years, all these storms, and hurricanes and everything, why is this (one) break wall not have any cracks in it?” he says.

After researching, he learned that structure is from the 1920’s. Based off that, he’s deciding to go “old school”, but with an upgrade.

Dobson’s been working with Novat Shoreline on designs. Like the antique wall, the proposed structures have a curve that toss the water back out into the lake, and knock the incoming waves down, lessening the blow. “That’s what I want, a break wall that’s curved and throws the water back out,” says Dobson.

“(We thought), what if we switched it around to use the water to it’s advantage?” says Pepsy Kettavong, President of Novat Shoreline, and advocate of the Smart Break Wall Diversion System.


“I see this thing staying up 50 years or more,” says Kettavong. And if lake levels ever rise above the break wall, they can attach modifications to it. “We call it a deflector extension,” he adds.

Bob Rutz, The Vice President of the Crescent Beach Neighborhood association, says the repairs being made to existing walls along the shoreline aren’t cutting it.

Rutz says the upgraded design is the only thing that can stand up to the task of hardening the shoreline and protecting residents and property. “It would benefit the entire Crescent Beach Shoreline. Everyone will enjoy the same protection,” he says.

And the cost? Kettavong says it varies, but its comparable to what has been going on annually with break wall repair. Again, he stresses this Novat design is built to last. The gentlemen add this will likely save money, something the state might like to hear when it comes to funding.

Dobson adds actual build time is less than you might think. “From start to finish, to do probably three miles, it’ll probably take six to eight months,” he says.

Greece Town Supervisor William Reilich says he has yet to look at the plans, but he’s open to any ideas that might help the shoreline going forward.

Kettavong and Dobson have already met with neighbors, some officials and engineers. Now, they have to meet with local leadership, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The men say prototypes for public demonstrations are due in a few weeks. If approved, construction could start next spring.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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