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Daily News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal celebrated a significant step in bringing the North Adams Flood Chutes Project to fruition.

After being in frequent communication with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) over the last several months, Neal has secured $700,000 through USACE’s FY 2024 budget to complete a feasibility study of the project.

“The residents of North Adams have long advocated for much-needed improvements to the city’s decades-old flood chutes. This announcement is a substantial victory for the city, one that reaffirms the federal government’s commitment to making this project a reality,” Neal said. “As a former mayor, I know first-hand the importance of these issues, especially when it comes to the safety and well-being of residents. That is why I have prioritized funding for this project, one that will not only enhance protections along the Hoosic River Basin and reduce flood risk, but also make much critical improvements to the city’s infrastructure and create jobs.”

Built by the USACE in 1961, the flood chutes play a vital role in providing flood protection to about 85% of the city’s industrial and commercial firms and about 25% of residential property. After nearly 60 years of use, the flood chutes are in severe disrepair and in need of significant structural improvement.

“We are pleased to be able to continue the work on the Hoosic River flood-control project,” North Adams Mayor Jennifer Macksey said. “We are delighted with the continued support of the federal delegation, including Congressman Neal, Senator [Ed] Markey, and Senator [Elizabeth] Warren. This project is ever so important to the city, not only from a safety perspective, but also for the overall well-being of the river and the community at large.”

Neal previously secured $200,000 in the FY 2023 omnibus spending package for USACE to begin the feasibility study. The additional funding will allow for the completion of the study before the project can move on to the next phase.

“I applaud Mayor Macksey and her administration for their continued advocacy on behalf of the city of North Adams,” Neal said. “We are all in on this project, and I will continue working with the mayor and the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure future funding is made available.”