HAMBURG, N.Y. — Tim Noon knows all too well what it's like when the winds whip up the waves of Lake Erie along Route 5 in Athol Springs.
"Even on a day like today you'd probably be getting sprayed in the face with water a little bit," he said.
Noon went to high school just across the street at St. Francis. Now he's with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the project manager for the new seawall they've been working on for more than a year.
"It wasn't uncommon to see really heavy waves coming over even hitting cars before they closed the roads," he said.
The goal of this project is to stop that from happening. The old seawall was eroding from decades of crashing waves. A large boulder revetment will act as a barrier to slow those waves down. A splash apron and new drainage between the new wall and the roadway should help keep the water and ice at bay during the winter. The New York State Dept. of Transportation estimates around 40,000 cars drive on that stretch of Route 5 each day.
"We should see a greatly reduced impact to Route 5," Noon said.
A new pedestrian walkway will also open up the road to more foot traffic.
"That really will provide an avenue for people to walk and view the lake and be able to access a portion of the lake that really has been off limits for folks for a while," Noon said.
The federal government is paying for the $8.2 million project. It should be finished sometime next month.