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Letter: Site may be unsuitable for apartment complex

Site may be unsuitable for apartment complex

I have another reason the Planning Board and City of Buffalo should have explored the site for the Queen City Landing apartment building and developed an environmental impact statement.

I worked that area both in construction and as an investigator for the Corps of Engineers from about 1963 to 1990. At one point or another, I worked on surveys, corrected erosional challenges and even helped correct NFTA projects gone awry.

In the 1960s, we were surprised when the recently built Times Beach and Buffalo Small Boat Harbor breakwaters had to be significantly raised and fortified several times. We presumed the bottom was softer than thought.

But in about 1968 we learned how really soft the area south of the Coast Guard was. On a navigation project we placed 12-inch steel “H” pilings lakeward of the Small Boat Harbor and discovered very deep quicksand. At about 100 feet, the material had the consistency of oatmeal mush.

The entire area north of the site was once swamp and the finest sturgeon habitat in the Great Lakes. We can expect very soft material lying very deep. In some point of geologic history, we can expect that entire area was some sort of swampy delta outlet to the Buffalo River.

Maybe an EIS and nature itself will dictate a much more appropriate structure than the adventurous spirits! Facts of impacts and long-term costs deserve to be developed rather than reliance on the ambitions of the developers.

Art “Happy” Klein