Elevation of Townline Pier to ensure continued recreational access
√ Part of New York state’s $300 million REDI program
New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez announced the completion of construction of a $1.6 million flood resiliency project awarded to the Village of Wilson through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.
The Townline Pier is a popular recreational site, frequented by village residents and visitors to the community. The pier, used for fishing, launching kayaks, and public access to Lake Ontario, has suffered structural damage from increased wind and wave action, and rising lake levels. During record flooding that occurred in 2019, the pier was 2 feet underwater, making the structure inaccessible and posing a safety risk to watercraft users.
The Department of State said, “The completed project will mitigate safety hazards, as well as ensure continued recreational access to this popular tourist destination.”
Rodriquez said, “The Department of State works closely with state and local governments to implement critical infrastructure to build resiliency and prevent flooding along the Lake Ontario waterfront. The improvements to the Townline Pier in the Village of Wilson will help ensure that this popular recreational site continues to maintain public access to support the local tourist economy and become a must-go destination point for the region.”
This project included critical resiliency measures, including:
√ Raising the structure 3 feet to an elevation of 252 feet, to allow the pier to remain easily accessible during high water events;
√ Installation of new stairs allowing access to the pier from the shoreline;
√ Mitigating further erosion through the addition of riprap along the shoreline;
√ Construction of a public restroom; and
√ Parking lot improvements.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "Communities along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines have faced serious challenges in recent years after repeated high water events. The completion of this project in the Village of Wilson marks an important milestone in New York state's commitment to advance projects that will build more resilient and sustainable communities. I applaud Gov. Hochul for investing in long-term solutions that will ensure vulnerable shoreline communities have reliable access to the pier during high water, and the shoreline is protected from future flooding."
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The completion of improvements to the Townline Pier is another big step forward in safeguarding Lake Ontario communities from future storms and flooding. New York state’s collaboration with the Village of Wilson will help protect vital public infrastructure and provide better and continued access to a valued recreational and tourism asset.”
REDI Co-Chair and Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “Gov. Hochul is delivering on her promise to help Lake Ontario shoreline communities that were struggling to find solutions to damage caused by rising waters and frequent flooding. The REDI Commission is pleased to report the Townline Pier project in Wilson has been completed, and just in time for the busy summer season. These much-needed upgrades are part of an overall plan to rebuild at-risk assets, protect property, provide safe waterfront access and secure a healthier, more sustainable and prosperous New York for all."
New York State Sen. Robert Ortt said, “I am pleased to see that the Townline Pier in the Village of Wilson has finally been completed after over two years of hard work and coordination between the Village of Wilson, Niagara County and New York state. Last summer, I visited the pier during its construction phase and spoke with local leaders about how the completion of it would be a great addition to the community and for visitors to the village. I commend the REDI Commission, and all the partners involved with this project, for helping see it through to completion.”
Assemblyman Michael Norris said, "Since taking office, I have fought for the rehabilitation of the Wilson Townline Pier, as is has continued to deteriorate due to continuous wave action and erosion. I am proud to have worked with my partners in local and state government to not only advocate for the pier’s rehabilitation, but to deliver and secure the funding for this project as well. The Townline Pier serves as a location for tourism and access to the Lake Ontario waterfront in the Village of Wilson, and the fortification of this asset will ensure that residents and tourists alike will enjoy safe and reliable access to Lake Ontario."
Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh said, "The REDI program has allowed communities along Lake Ontario to repair the infrastructure damage we incurred from severe flooding and to build with an eye toward the future. The Townline Pier in the Village of Wilson had been 2 feet underwater at one point. Now, not only has it been reconstructed to better withstand future weather events, but it will improve pedestrian access, be safer for boaters, and hopefully provide new economic development opportunities for the Village of Wilson.”
Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey said, "The Townline Pier in the Village of Wilson is one of the great ways people can truly enjoy the beauty of Lake Ontario, but the terrible flooding put the pier in jeopardy and was especially dangerous for boaters. Thanks to the REDI program and the partnership between the state, the Village of Wilson and Niagara County, the pier has been upgraded and should be able to handle future flooding, that we, of course, hope and pray never happens. All across the Niagara County's shoreline, the REDI program has been instrumental in rebuilding flood damage areas and creating opportunities for recreation and development."
Mayor Arthur Lawson said, "The Village of Wilson faced an unprecedented challenge of rising lake levels. The rising lake levels affected our critical infrastructure and created safety issues for recreational boaters. When the Village of Wilson asked for help, the state delivered. By awarding the village $1.6 million to rebuild our Townline Pier, not only did Gov. Hochul save a piece of vital infrastructure, she ensured the safety of recreational boaters, and preserved a piece of our village culture where so many if our residents grew up with such fond memories."
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York state established REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. Through REDI, the state has committed up to $300 million to benefit communities and improve resiliency in flood-prone regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Since the creation of the state’s REDI program in the spring of 2019, 134 REDI-funded local and regional projects are underway, including 74 projects in the design phase, 24 projects in the construction phase, and 36 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.