OSWEGO -- Wright's Landing Marina is undergoing a series of improvements, including the installation of a boater access center, a renovated and expanded bathhouse and other enhancements.
The so-called Wright's Landing Marina Boater Services Improvement Project is part of an effort to enhance the Port City waterfront, and create a more appealing area for boaters, officials say. City workers broke ground on the project earlier this spring and plan to have most of the improvements complete and re-open the facility by mid-summer.
This will be the first major renovation to Wright’s Landing since it was built nearly 40 years ago.Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced the closure of the marina several weeks ago as part of the city's stay-at-home orders, since then noting construction projects and high water on Lake Ontario, in addition to the global COVID-19 pandemic, were all factors that contributed to the marina's closure until at least July 13.
Wright's Landing Marina attracts out-of-state fisherman and other people from outside Oswego County, and officials have said with the coronavirus still a threat it would not be prudent to open the marina for at least another month. Water levels are also starting to pose a threat, Barlow has said, noting Lake Ontario waters are expected to continue to rise in the near future. The “most significant issue,” Barlow said, would construction, which he said would “continue to ramp up through the summer.” The mayor said the city would do everything it can to open the marina on July 13, but noted not opening the marina this year has been discussed.
“Similar to what we experienced in our downtown, construction is the sign of progress and people have to realize that,” Barlow said. “For decades, we've all said our waterfront isn't as good as it can be. Now we're starting the physical improvements and we will need to endure the inconveniences that come with that.” The roughly $1.6 million project includes the construction and renovation of existing bathroom and shower facilities at the marina, as well as the installation of a new boater access services building, a new pavilion and stone fire pits along the waterfront. Barlow said the project would also create Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility throughout the facility.
The city was awarded a more than $930,000 grant from the state Department of State to help cover the costs of the project.
Barlow said the current Wright's Landing project, along with funding through the state's Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) — which includes improvements to the International Pier and further enhancements of the marina — would “transform” the facility into “a modern, state-of-the-art marina.”
“I truly believe once the projects are completed, we will see an influx in boating traffic in the Oswego Harbor and will have a marina that can help market our entire community,” Barlow said, noting many of the improvements were identified as part of a 2016 waterfront feasibility study. Wright's Landing Marina was closed for a portion of the 2019 boater season due to high water on Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario waters have reached flood levels in two of the previous three years, and city officials believe the ongoing projects, REDI projects and funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not only enhance the facility, but protect against future flooding. “During the past few years, we've experienced unprecedented levels of flooding, causing significant damage to our shoreline and marina,” said Oswego Common Council Vice President Kevin Hill. “Without propert and immediate repair and mitigation, the damages would undoubtedly continue to mount, deteriorating what should be one of our community’s premier assets and attractions.”