Port of Oswego impacted by high Lake Ontario water levels

Local News

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) The Port of Oswego is being forced to make emergency repairs because of damage caused by high water levels on Lake Ontario for many months.

The Port is going out to bid on a project to fix the rail embedded road that extends to an overflow storage area nearby.

The road was initially damaged they say by high water and waves in 2017 and has worsened over the past several months.

Port of Oswego Executive Director William Scriber says, “The road is built on a gravel and rock base.” 

The continued high waters and waves have washed away the wall between the shore and road so much it is undermining the road itself.

Scriber tells NewsChannel 9, “It’s useable but not for heavy traffic, we do grain cars, aluminum cars that weight is not restrictive but when you bring in the heavy projects then it restricts it.”

The Army Corp of Engineers has one of those very projects set for July.

They plan to bring in 10-14 ton rocks to fix the breakwall which should help stop or slow down high waves from slamming into the Port.

“If we get 20 or 30 mph winds the waves actually breach the dock, splash into the warehouse so that’s why we have to do sandbagging dams,” Scriber says.

The warehouse close to the water is used for overflow of grains, especially soybeans right now when the main silos become full.  These grains need to stay dry.

The waves are also crashing over and seeping into the electric scales used to weigh trucks and rail cars coming in and going out of the Port.

The Port is using pumps and drains to try and keep as much water from getting to the scales as possible.

The only benefit of high levels on Lake Ontario Scriber says is that ships can load more material to bring in or take out of the Port of Oswego.

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