BETHLEHEM WATERFRONT PARK PROJECT

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 BETHLEHEM WATERFRONT PARK PROJECT

(Environmental clean up of the former Bethlehem Steel plant property and Redevelopment)..

Understandably, many in Western New York want a new stadium in their own city or town, but citizens must choose wisely is best for the region and national image.

 

* The Bethlehem Waterfront Park Project would be a significant makeover of Western New York's current national image of the rust belt to a green belt which is priceless. The result would be the return of 1275 acres of waterfront access to the public in a pristine park/plenty of green space projects, harbor and beach setting.

 

BETHLEHEM WATERFRONT PARK PROJECT HAS FIVE MAJOR PROJECTS AND MANY SPIN OFF DEVELOPMENTS.

 

(1.) W.N.Y. going the extra mile alternative 7, Wood Lawn Beach Restoration, Beautification, and Extension (cleanup and reshaping the terrain)

(2.) Stadium District Development

(3.)Hamburg Turn Pike Fast track, beatification and no stop lights.

(4.) Thruway Fast Track Connector connecting thruway 1.6 miles with Hamburg turnpike and direct access to Stadium district along an abandon rail road, no tolls (quick access to waterfront for thruway drivers, attracts visitors).

(5.) Light rail transit system extension (an eighth access) out and along the waterfront to the park

 

Estimate one year designing and minimum four to maximum eight years total clean up and construction.

EXAMPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN UP:

 

STEEL STACKS, Bethlehem, PA

“One of the country’s largest brownfield sites in the country, the former Bethlehem Steel foundry’s blast furnaces are showcased as part of a unique cultural and entertainment campus into what is now known as SteelStacks. Site planning and landscape design were the hallmarks to unifying a new campus that frames what has been reborn as fantastic sculpture” http://www.wrtdesign.com/work/projects/public-places

 

SHIP CANAL COMMONS PARK, Steel Plant, the former Hanna Furnace

“Excavating and properly disposing cyanide-contaminated wastes buried under a small portion of the site;...” Quote link http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50476.html

http://www.ecidany.com/budc-projects-ship-canal-commons

 

OUTER HARBOR, City of Buffalo

City of Buffalo new State Park. “... much of which was contaminated by industrial and municipal waste decades ago.”

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/gallagher-beach-small-boat-harbor-to-be-operated-as-a-state-park-20130903

 

RIVER BENDS, former Republic Steel property, South Buffalo

“...$225 million in state funding to build the first of six buildings on a brownfield site.”

http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/buffalo-news-editorials/cuomos-clean-energy-plan-gives-buffalo-the-seeds-for-a-new-economy-20131121

 

RECLAMATION, REMEDIATION AND BEAUTIFICATION FOR A CONTINUOUS WATERFRONT PARK SYSTEM

 

Arcelor Mittal Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. 1,075 acres

Gateway Metroport without canal average 125 acres

South Buffalo Rail road 75 acres

Wood Lawn Beach 100 acres

Beach extension/restoration/beautification return land back to the lake - 100 acres

Total Approx 1275 acres entire park

 

* Lackawanna Bethlehem steel plant was not a chemical plant.

* Most buildings have already been razed and have been ongoing remediation.

* Approx. 400 acres of land was formed using the by-product of the Steel making process called slag.

* Wikipedia “Basic slag...is largely limestone or dolomite which has absorbed phosphate from the iron ore being smelted. Because of the slowly released phosphate content, and because of its liming effect, it is valued as fertilizer in gardens and farms in steel making areas. However, the most important application is construction.” Slag, which is 2,000 degrees when formed, has the characteristics of volcanic rock. Hawaii is built on volcanic rock. Steel slag is relatively safe (not to be confused with refining copper, nickle, etc, slag). Slag is used as a foundation for driveways, roadways, and parking lots in Western New York.

* Phases/sections I, IA, II, and III runs two miles along hamburg turnpike and extends about 2,000 ft towards the waterfront which has the combined approx. total of 400 acres. New York Environmental agency said Phase I's, approx.101 acres is ready for construction.

* Phase I's 101 acres, with I A's 9 acres needs some small remediation and Gateway metro port of approx.125 acres have a combined approx. total 235 acres for the Stadium, parking, hotels, condos, splash lagoon, museums/theme attractions.

* Phases II and III approx. 300 acres has ongoing relatively easy remediation, would be for green space projects and if needed more allotted acreage for parking space.

 

The parking lots surrounding the Stadium would have aesthetics in mind, green spaces and islands with trees, shrubs, natural rocks, clump tall grasses and landscaped lighting. The extension rapid transit light rail to the park would give access to City of Buffalo hotels and parking. Some City of Buffalo residents will choose to ride the light rail transit to games. Stadium district would have three or four high rise hotels ( one may be the Bills new office) with their on-site parking, 200 RV/camper sites in the park, picnic shelters, and additional parking in the park.

 

THE BIGGER THE CHALLENGE, THE GREATER THE REWARD:

 

Bethlehem Steel property's two miles of lake shore stretches inland 3,400 feet, and has an additional approx. 650 acres divided up into zones 1,2,3,4,5, Tank farm area, Coal/Coke/Ore Storage & Coal Handling Area and Coke Plant & By-Products Facilities (most structures been razed):

 

Zone 1 consist of 128 acres even grade plateau of clean iron slag ten feet high from the lake's surface. Zone 1 had its top layer 30 feet high of slag excavated, and was sold for profit up until the year 2006.

 

Zone 2 consist of 82 acres, the New York Environmental agency made public in 2009 a report of plans of remediation (clean up time and cost) SWMUs.

 

Zones 3, 4 and 5, Tank farm area, Coal/Coke/Ore Storage & Coal Handling Area and Coke Plant & By-Products Facilities consist of approx. 440 acres contains intermittent relatively small surface spills contamination, remediation ongoing. Surface oil tanks been removed, on going remediation, Coke oven and Benzene plant remediation is also ongoing. There are intermittent SWMUs that need remediation. An exhaustive Case Management Study is expected in the fall of 2014

 

* There are approx. 44 S.W.M.U.s, Solid Waste Management Units (basically pits), the larger SWMUs were created in the higher elevation of the piled slag heap. 24 SWMUs are relatively small.

* Some SWMUs contain relatively harmless mill scale or called flake steel from the hot rolled steel process reclaimable as a raw material for steel making, steel plant operations discarded material or discarded common construction material that can be relatively easily handled disposed off-site.

* A few SWMUs contain plant normal operations by-product, such as tar acid, sludge material etc and needs more care to be disposed off-site.

* VERY IMPORTANT FACT: “A dense glacial till (non-permeable layer of clay) unit underlies …... approximately 38 to 52 feet below ground surface (measured from the top of piled slag heap) which acts as a vertical confining unit to inhibit the downward flow of impacted groundwater.” This means contamination can't go straight down pass the glacial till (non-permeable layer of clay), it's a natural barrier to keep contamination from going deeper in the ground and spreading lateral.

* VERY IMPORTANT: The removal of material to the glacial till natural barrier (non-permeable layer of clay) and beyond the contaminant lateral migration material to obtain an opportune totally cleaned area is potentially feasible.

* Fortunately most larger SWMU's are concentrated or clustered in Zone 2, the park design is already for excavating all of Zone 2 down to the glacial till (non-permeable layer of clay).

* Recently remediation plan/Alternative 4 was chosen for zone 2 and almost done. Consolidate (combined the relatively small amount of material from the sludge pit into the tar acid pit), build a slurry wall around the tar acid pit, and then cover (cost around 5.5 million). Fortunately they didn't choose Plan Alternative 6, Excavate SWMUs ..., Stabilize, and Dispose Off-Site Cost $52 million (2009).” The money if put towards the Alternative 7 plan will have greater and more efficient results.

* Alternative 7 (cleanup and reshaping the terrain) involves a much larger more efficient labor team of designers, draftsmen, surveyors, heavy equipment operators, on site lab testing, engineers and numerous, more efficient and larger excavators, bulldozers, transports, possibly incorporate the use of rail way, barges and/or ships will maximize efficiency and lessen total cost in both remediation and shaping the park terrain. Remediation of all SWMUs can be accomplished in relatively rapid succession, will lessen total cost and time.

 

THE CROWNING JEWEL OF THE PARK IS WOOD LAWN BEACH RESTORATION, BEAUTIFICATION AND EXTENSION

 

As a diamond is properly cut, the terrain is properly shaped to achieve the most pristine natural and aesthetically appealing environment.

 

The Waterfront Park design proposal involves the beach surface sand from inland parameter 300 ft to the beach shore line to be extended the full mile of Wood Lawn beach and an additional extension of the beach for a half mile partially into Lackawanna. This would achieve the maximum natural pleasing aesthetics that the surrounding land has to offer.

 

Similar to California or Florida's wide and even grade instant access to their beaches, the Park design entails the center of the park's waterfront an immediate transition from a park setting of green grass, trees with a road running adjacent to the beach. On the lake side from a wide walking/roller blade/bicycle path and a three foot natural stone fence with entrances begins the predestine groomed sand beach 300 ft out to the shore line. Imagine yourself as if standing on the beach looking to your left the distance of a half of a mile stretches the pristine beach to the existing Wood lawn beach with its parameter of trees with sand dunes and beach that subtly arches the bay. Looking on your right at the North end of the beach is perched an elevated partially white canopied amphitheater constructed in the side of the large grass covered berm will offer a spectacular view of the park, beach, bay and sunsets for summer events.

 

Further research, surveys and test holes would have to be drilled to determine if the extension of Wood lawn Beach is feasible. If found to be feasible the construction plan would perhaps entail as follows:

 

* Redirecting Smokes creek's 2,600 ft lower section to another excavated course 2,000 feet North where the mouth will exit.

* All along the new designated creek course will be excavated. All found contaminants will be removed down to glacial till (non-permeable layer of clay) and lateral until there are no contaminant signs remaining.

* Once the new creek course is excavated, at each end the cofferdams will be removed to allow the old Smokes creek to take the new course to the lake. 

* Old Smokes creek's course section will have at each end built a cofferdam. Water will be pumped out.

* All wind mills would be taken down in zone one which is mostly Hamburg's land, to make way for the one mile extension of Wood lawn beach.

* The city of Lackawanna's most valuable asset, if properly developed, is their waterfront. No other city would block out forever its citizens waterfront, by covering it end to end with wind mills. However there are four windmills that are aesthetically appealing for the park design. The contrast of a few thousands of dollars of tax revenue from an excessive number of windmills, would be as much as private investment of a billion dollars of taxable development (except the stadium) stretching all the way into Lackawanna. Resulting in a new yearly property tax revenue stream of millions of dollars that is desperately needed to uplift the City of Lackawanna, fix the crumbing roads (recently in the news it asked the State to take over), bring jobs, redevelopment and beatification throughout the city.

* Most all land in Zone 1, Zone 2 and partially of Zone 3 on South side of new Smokes creek course will be excavated when necessary down to the glacial till (non-permeable layer of clay) or if not necessary to original lake bottom and handled according to material, any contaminants from SWMUs will be disposed off-site. All slag having no contaminants will be used as fill for the park.

* Add sand on to the glacial till or original lake bottom for the proper height and grade of the bay floor and 300 ft beach sand surface, for one mile extension of Wood Lawn Beach.Example Beach restoration “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District and New York City... sand replenishment.... “...Law 113-2 … placement of more than 3.5 million cubic yards of sand..” http://www.dvidshub.net/news/112117/army-corps-begins-post-sandy-restoration-work-rockaway-beach

 

All 1275 acres of land would be taken over by eminent domain for the public. The project has some challenges but can be reasonably overcome. All contaminates would be removed from the entire 1275 acres, only the steel slag would remain and the original land. Clean soil would be trucked in or transported by trains, barge or ships to conserve cost and cover the slag with soil 18-24 inches for green projects. The Bethlehem Waterfront Park Project would involve private investors, State and Federal funds for the environmental clean up and redevelopment.

 

Bethlehem Waterfront Park Project”

 

Buffalo Bills Domed Stadium on Lackawanna's Waterfront is the only right place!”

 

https://www.change.org/petitions/jim-kelly-buffalo-bills-domed-stadium-on-lackawanna-s-waterfront-is-the-only-right-place

 

We urgently need many signatures to persuade the New York Governor, NY State House and the United States Congress to support the project and appropriate available funds.



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