ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The city of Albany is working on the Beaver Creek Clean River Project, slated to significantly improve water quality in the Hudson. Officials are calling it the most environmentally impactful project from the city’s water department in decades.
“The environmental benefits for our community and the region will have long-lasting impacts for our quality of life and the health of the Hudson River,” says Albany Water Commissioner Joe Coffey.
Once completed, it will screen and disinfect over 300 million gallons per year of overflows from the Beaver Creek Sewer. It’s a centuries-old source of pollution in the Hudson, and experts call it the largest contributor of overflows into the river in the entire Capital Region.
“With rainfall and precipitation amounts set to increase amidst a rapidly changing climate in the Northeast, this project will help reduce the frequency and severity of potential flooding in the surrounding area,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.
Cleaning this sewer runoff would benefit the entire region, enhancing a huge stretch of waterfront while improving quality of life issues in the neighborhood near the intersection of Delaware and Park Avenues. The city says it will make the area smell better, make room for outdoor community space to educate local students, and open up the northwest corner of Lincoln Park to pedestrians.
Most construction activity is by that corner, the Lincoln Park Bowl, and along South Hawk Street and Third Avenue. The Beaver Creek Clean River Project has a roughly $55 million price tag. Of that, $15 million has is funded by environmental grants from the state. Construction schedules are available online, and currently scheduled in multiple phases through 2021 and 2022.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says, “My administration has invested more than $50 million in water and sewer infrastructure in the past seven years—more than the 20 years prior, combined.”
The city is working with the community on plans to revitalize the Bowl Fields, regrading, improving drainage, installing new grass, and looking at new designs. The Beaver Creek Project will also save the city about $1 million and remove the need for thousands of dump truck trips through the South End Neighborhood. Instead of transporting soil that way, they’ll be able to use excavated Beaver Creek dirt to raise the Bowl by two to three feet.