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Murphy Bill Addresses Highway Flooding In Westchester

Terrence Murphy
Terrence Murphy Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- State Sen. Terrence Murphy, R-Yorktown, announced passage of two pieces of his legislation that will address flooding along the Bronx and Saw Mill rivers using a watershedwide approach by adding the rivers to the state's inland waterway list.

Classifying the rivers as inland waterways makes the municipalities that front the river like New Castle, Mount Kisco and Mount Pleasant eligible for the state Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

After submitting a plan that is approved by both the state Department of State and the federal Office of Coastal Management, participants become eligible for grants of federal dollars distributed through the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

"These rivers play a vital role not only within Westchester County and New York City, but also for the entire the Long Island Sound and Hudson River watersheds," Murphy said. "Anyone who has driven down the Saw Mill Parkway or the Bronx River Parkway when it rains can see that something needs to be done."

Murphy is a member of the intergovernmental Bronx River Advisory Board and Saw Mill River Advisory Board created by the Westchester County Board of Legislators, where the inland waterway idea was first developed.

The boards recently submitted river reconnaissance plans that were adopted by the Board of Legislators, which identified the need for the state to cooperate with municipalities and provided some local funding toward the effort.

The reconnaissance plans map out an overall strategy for combating the persistent flooding problems impacting every municipality in the county to address substantial flooding problems, attendant property damages and road closures.

"The recon plans identify numerous shovel-ready flood mitigation projects that are ready to go, and now that these bills have passed the Senate, the projects will soon be eligible to compete for state funding, which will create green jobs, reduce flooding and protect the environment," he said.

The Assembly versions of the bills are sponsored by Assemblyman David Buchwald.

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