The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) recently announced the completion of the Gaylord Stream Crossing Replacement project to improve drainage and reduce flood risk in the Apalachin Creek watershed in the town of Owego in Tioga County. The project included replacing the Gaylord Road culvert with a new, larger-capacity crossing and restoring the streambank.
Executive Director of GOSR Katie Brennan said, “This project helps ensure that Owego’s families are better protected and the community’s infrastructure is more resilient during future weather emergencies. We are proud that under Governor Hochul’s leadership, our neighborhood-driven, grassroots process is safeguarding residents from flooding and preserving our waterways.”
Flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee damaged thousands of homes and caused millions of dollars of property and infrastructure damage across communities in the Southern Tier. The storms also caused stream bank erosion, which led to debris falling into the waterways. Following the storms, a watershed assessment of the Apalachin Creek watershed was conducted and helped identify the Gaylord Road culvert as a crossing in need of replacement.
As part of the $860,000 project, the previously undersized Gaylord Road culvert was replaced by a larger-capacity concrete structure that can resist erosion and reduce the accumulation of debris. Combined with restoration work along the streambank around the culvert, the new crossing will help improve the flow of water, mitigate flooding, protect homes and businesses around Gaylord Road, and improve street infrastructure.
This is GOSR’s second flood mitigation project in the Southern Tier completed this year. In March, the agency finalized a $1 million drainage improvement project at Fuller Hollow Creek in the town of Vestal in Broome County.
“This culvert replacement at the Gaylord Road stream crossing is critical in equipping the community with better infrastructure to manage storm water surges,” said Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats), adding, “New York’s investment in flood prevention and storm recovery infrastructure is essential to protect local families, our investments and the environment.”
Tioga County Legislative Chair and New York State Association of Counties President Martha Sauerbrey said, “The Gaylord Stream Crossing Replacement project is improving resiliency and reducing flooding.”
She added, “Thank you to the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District for bringing this project to fruition.”
The project was coordinated in partnership with the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Town of Owego. SWCD District Manager Wendy Walsh stated, “We are excited to finally see this project be brought to a close. We hope that it will be the start of similar work like this in the watershed to mitigate flooding impacts and improve community resiliency.”
Owego Town Supervisor Donald Castellucci, Jr. said, “Since 2005 Gaylord Road has been a consistent source of flooding, at times displacing residents. The Town of Owego appreciates the State’s assistance in remedying the situation.”