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Five DDC Projects in Staten Island, Manhattan and Queens Receive Awards for Engineering Excellence From the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York

April 9, 2018

Ian Michaels

Long Island City, NY – NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio announced today that one project in Staten Island, two DDC projects in Queens and two in Manhattan have been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) with awards for engineering excellence. The awards were presented at the organization’s Engineering Excellence Gala on April 7 at the midtown Hilton in Manhattan.

Distributed by ACEC New York for over 50 years, the Engineering Excellence Awards honor “design achievements of superior skill and ingenuity.” More than 60 consultant firms submit entries each year for consideration, which are then judged by an expert committee on criteria including project complexity, innovation and value to society.

One DDC project received a Diamond Award in the category Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Service:

  • Pre-Scoping Design for Freshkills Park Roads, Staten Island (NV5 consulting)

Two projects received Platinum Awards in the category Water Resources:

  • Coastal Resiliency in Broad Channel, Queens (NV5 consulting)
  • Grand Street Trunk Water Main, Manhattan (HAKS/JED consulting joint venture)

One project received a Platinum Award in the category Waste and Storm Water:

  • Shore Road Reconstruction and Stabilization, Queens (Hazen and Sawyer consulting)

One project received a Platinum Award in the category Transportation:

  • Forsyth Street Plaza, Manhattan (AECOM consulting)

 “This prestigious industry recognition demonstrates the high level of professionalism and expertise that DDC brings to projects throughout the City,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “These projects adhere closely to the de Blasio’s administration’s goals of promoting resiliency, sustainability and healthy living, improving quality of life and giving the City the ability to better tolerate future adverse events. I thank ACEC New York for their acknowledgement.”

Pre-Scoping Design for Freshkills Park Roads

On behalf of the Parks Department, DDC is performing preliminary design of a new roadway within Freshkills Park in Staten Island that would run from the West Shore Expressway to Richmond Avenue. The new roadway would be the first link in a network of roads to provide public access to Freshkills Park and connect Staten Island’s commercial core on Richmond Avenue (along the park’s eastern boundary) to the West Shore Expressway/Route 440, which bisects the park to the west.

The proposed roadways would include “green” elements such as curbside gardens to absorb stormwater and the use of recycled construction materials.


Shore Road Reconstruction and Coastal Stabilization

A new steel-backed timber guardrail along Shore Road
A new steel-backed timber guardrail along Shore Road as part of a $9.3 million infrastructure upgrade

The Shore Road project spans roughly one mile in Douglaston, Queens from 36th Ave to West Drive, and includes the installation of 63 new catch basins and a new storm sewer system to prevent flooding when it rains. To allow for drainage of water from the new storm sewer system, five new outfalls were built extending from the street out into Little Neck Bay. Large stones placed around the outfalls will help mitigate surges from the Bay onto the shoreline. Areas around the outfalls that were disturbed during construction have been restored and re-seeded.

Additional work included the replacement of water mains, the installation of 42 new manholes and the replacement of curbs and sidewalks. Since the area is a landmarked district, the curbs have been repaired with granite cobble stone and the sidewalks were constructed with specialized concrete that stylistically matches neighboring curbs and sidewalks. A steel-backed timber guardrail was also installed to prevent vehicles from reaching the shore. Two sinkholes that had existed in the street have also been repaired and 72 new trees will be planted along the site when weather allows.

Grand Street Trunk Water Main

DDC has completed numerous infrastructure projects that connect the City’s new Third Water Tunnel to the water main distribution system. The Grand Street project installed more than 3,600 feet of new 36-inch water mains along 16 blocks in Lower Manhattan, connecting to Shaft 30B of the new tunnel and greatly increasing the resiliency of the local water distribution system, giving it a new and independent connection to the City’s upstate water supply.

Workers install a manifold to support new water mains at Lafayette and Grand streets
Workers install a manifold to support new water mains at Lafayette and Grand streets

Completed in two phases, the Grand Street project also replaced more than 4,500 feet of old water mains with new ductile iron pipes and upgraded the local sewer and catch basin system to improve street drainage.  More than 3,000 feet of natural gas lines were replaced by local utility companies. Roadways in the project area were completely reconstructed down to their concrete base and damaged curbs and sidewalks were replaced where needed on Grand Street between Broad and Essex streets.

Crews completing the project managed significant unanticipated field conditions related to the nature of the old downtown Manhattan neighborhood, including underground building vaults, a dense concentration of underground utilities as well as unused trolley tracks and bridge abutments that used to support elevated train systems in the area. In some areas, special support and protection structures were required to ensure the integrity of water mains constructed over existing subway lines.

Forsyth Street Plaza

Forsyth Street Plaza at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown
Forsyth Street Plaza at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown

Located at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, at the corner of Canal and Forsyth streets, Forsyth Street Plaza is one of the newest additions to the City’s pedestrian plaza program, and one of several DDC has completed in the last few years. The project provides the neighborhood with 10,000 square feet of new public space in a setting that accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists traversing the bridge.

Amenities in the new plaza include garden lighting, seating stones with engraved text, concrete block pavers, water fountains, a two-lane bicycle path, ADA compliant steel ramps and seating, along with stainless steel railings and plantings such as weeping cherry trees, honey locust trees and bamboo. The project also included underground work to relocate a fire hydrant, add a new sewer manhole and add catch basins to prevent flooding.

Coastal Resiliency in Broad Channel

A coffer dam at the end of West 11th Road in Broad Channel
A coffer dam at the end of West 11th Road in Broad Channel creates a safe and dry space for workers to install a new raised bulkhead

To make the area more resilient and less vulnerable to flooding from Jamaica Bay, DDC is reconstructing and elevating West 11th, 12th and 13th roads in the Broad Channel neighborhood of Queens.

The project include new storm sewer outfall structures at the ends of each of the three streets, new sanitary and storm sewers built on piles, new water mains, elevated roads and sidewalks and new street lighting.  Raising the elevation of the three roads approximately 2 ft. will eliminate common street flooding which occurs during high tide events.  Nearly 900 12-inch diameter augered piles extending 50 to 70 feet below the surface will be placed to support the new storm and sanitary sewers.

A unique aspect of the road reconstruction is the elimination of a conventional street curb by making the street pavement and sidewalk the same elevation.  This is known as a “shared street“ design which makes more effective use of paved surfaces on narrow streets such as in Broad Channel.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit