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Pier damage

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to temporarily secure damaged sheet piling along the West Barrier Bar pier in the village of Fair Haven. 

A contract has been awarded for a temporary solution to address the damaged sheet pile along the West Barrier Bar pier in the village of Fair Haven, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday. 

The agency awarded the $135,000 contract to Armitage Architects, a Buffalo firm. Armitage Architects will use brackets and cable to secure 1,000 feet of damaged sheet pile to the land. The sheet pile will be bracketed to the concrete cap on the pier to prevent further damage, the Army Corps of Engineers said. 

The contract was awarded Tuesday. The project will begin this summer and is expected to be completed this fall. 

"We are proud to have awarded this contract so quickly to ensure the safety and continued operation of the pier for the Fair Haven community and navigation channel users need," said Lt. Col. Jason Toth, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' Buffalo district. 

Fair Haven officials, including Mayor Jim Basile, contacted federal and state officials after residents observed damage to the pier earlier this year. Some of the sheet pile separated from the pier and a section of concrete partially collapsed. 

Cayuga County's federal representatives — U.S. Rep. John Katko and U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer — asked the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the pier. 

The Army Corps of Engineers visited the pier in March and determined bolt failures led to the sheet pile damage. Officials believe severe weather, especially a major storm in February, caused the damage to the pier. 

Katko, R-Camillus, surveyed the damage in April and learned the Army Corps of Engineers had a plan to repair the pier. The temporary fix — securing the sheet pile to the concrete — would begin over the summer. But a permanent solution is needed. 

The Army Corps of Engineers has said the permanent repairs would require additional federal funding. 

"I recently invited the Army Corps Buffalo district to join me in surveying the damage to the Little Sodus Bay West Pier, and I am glad to see them give this problem the attention it deserves," Katko said. "I will continue to support critical funding to rebuild and repair infrastructure surrounding Lake Ontario shoreline communities." 

The temporary repairs shouldn't affect boating and other water activity in Little Sodus Bay. The Army Corps of Engineers said the navigation will remain open during the project. 

However, the Army Corps of Engineers urged the public to stay away from the detached sheet pile along the pier. There was a temporary barrier set up to prevent people from accessing the damaged section of the pier. 

After the project is finished, a 6-foot tall chain-link fence will be installed to surround the damaged area until there is funding available for a permanent repair. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.