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Project of the Month January 2001


Illustration of The Van Cortlandt Lake Restoration Project

This project proposes the hydraulic dredging of 45,000 to 50,000 cubic yards of sediment from Van Cortlandt Lake's lower basin and mill pond. The dredging will provide both a desirable water column to prevent algae blooms and a suitable habitat for various aquatic wildlife. The dredging will include a portion of the phragmites colony at the north end of the lower basin. The intent of the phragmite removal is to improve drainage rather than to eradicate the colony. A portion of the dredge spoils will be used as raw material to manufacture topsoil. This material will be used to reconstruct two soccer fields at the North End of the Parade Grounds in Van Cortlandt Park.

Proposed also is to clean the runoff going into the lake from both the Mosholu Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Due to the loss of water the lake would suffer by the construction of a diversionary pipe for highway run-off, the proposal has been altered to install sedimentation traps (Vortechnics) at highway run-off points into the lake. The Vortechnic system will typically remove 80% of the total suspended solids.

Illustration of The Van Cortlandt Lake Restoration Project

Part of the restoration of the lake will include extensive erosion control within the watershed. This erosion control will include native wetland plantings, boulder placement, and rip rap. The lake edge will be reconstructed with a combination of the above erosion control treatments.

The mill pond edge will be reconstructed using larger boulder placements and native planting. Trees in this area will be pruned to allow more sunlight to enhance floor growth. Illustration of The Van Cortlandt Lake Restoration ProjectThe earthen dam on the south edge of the mill pond will be reconstructed in kind, as will the existing weir.

This project will also extend the existing Greenway Bikeway from Jerome Avenue into Van Cortlandt Park and terminate at the old Putnam Railroad line, just south of Van Cortlandt Lake. The project will make use of existing pathways and existing crosswalks. The existing paths will be re-paved with asphalt and stripped as necessary to prevent hazards. Installation of bike racks at destination locations, such as at Van Cortlandt Lake, will be included in this project.