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DDC Receives Eight Engineering Excellence Awards From ACEC New York for Capital Projects in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx

DDC: Denisse Moreno,

(Long Island City, NY – November 27, 2023) Commissioner Thomas Foley of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that the agency has received eight 2024 Engineering Excellence Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) for capital projects in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

The 57th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala will be held at the Midtown Hilton on April 13, 2024.

“DDC makes communities better and safer through innovative, environmentally conscious projects that help every New Yorker,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Many of the projects recognized are reducing flooding in our neighborhoods. Others bring safety improvements for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and others created new parkland. We thank ACEC New York for recognizing these DDC projects and are pleased to accept these awards. And congratulations to the DDC team.”

Beach 108th Street Streetscape Improvements

The DDC’s $16.6 million infrastructure project that rebuilt Beach 108th Street in Rockaway, Queens from Beach Channel Drive to Shore Front Parkway received the Gold Award in the Environmental category from ACEC New York. DDC managed the project for DEP and DOT.

Beach 108 street completed work

Beach 108th in Rockaway has been rebuilt with new streets and sidewalks plus advanced stormwater drainage that includes porous pavement

The reconstruction project helped rebuild an area damaged by Superstorm Sandy by using more than 11,000 square feet of new permeable concrete slabs, allowing nearly 1.3 million gallons of stormwater to be absorbed into the ground each year. This natural stormwater drainage eases pressure on the sewer system and reduces flooding in the area. Approximately 1,100 feet of existing storm sewers and 22 catch basins were repaired or replaced, and an additional 140 feet of new storm sewers plus three new catch basins were added. More than 18,000 square yards of asphalt were laid down to pave the area, about 6,000 feet of old water mains were also replaced and two new fire hydrants were added.

Starlight Park in the Bronx

The DDC’s $41 million Starlight Park project, which converted 2.7 acres of formerly paved, industrial property into a vast greenspace with greenway connections in the Bronx, received the Platinum Award in the Special Projects category.

a bridge at Starlight Park with walking path

A $41 million project in Starlight Park adds connections to the Bronx River Greenway

The project, managed by DDC for NYC Parks, added new bridges extending over train lines and the river and better entry points into the park. The features helped connect nearby neighborhoods that were previously cut off from one another, and created links to Starlight Park’s ballfields, playgrounds, boat launch, and the Bronx River House, a community educational facility and boat house.

Significant stormwater management features were also implemented, including 140 new trees and nearly 12,000 new shrubs to support the restoration of the Bronx River shoreline, including wetlands that improve water quality in the river to curb erosion. Additionally, new lighting was installed, several new retaining walls were constructed, 4,000 feet of new pathway was created and drainage and electrical upgrades were made throughout various areas of the park. A total of 50,000 tons of soil was removed and replaced to promote ecological health.

Pelham Parkway Phase 2

Also in the Bronx, the $129 million project involving the second and final phase of the reconstruction of Pelham Parkway received a Gold Award in the Water Resources category. The transformation greatly enhances the busy parkway that sprawls across multiple Bronx neighborhoods, making it safer for road users while also improving water absorption to reduce flooding.

new bus lane in pelham parkway north

Improvements include a dedicated bus line, hundreds of planted trees and features that will reduce flooding

Phase 2 included vast improvements to the westbound Main Road and North Service Road between Stillwell Avenue and Boston Road, including the replacement of underground utilities, upgrading of drainage structures and the installation of new sewer, trunk and distribution water mains. Over 200 catch basins were milled, paved and reconstructed and over 300 new trees were planted.

To enhance Pelham Parkway for road users, 240 streetlights were added, as well as 70 traffic signals, specialized pavement markings, a new dedicated bus lane and installation of new guide rails. The reconstruction also included cobblestone sloped wall and steel fence along Pelham Parkway North Service Road between Bronxwood Avenue and Wallace Avenue. The project was managed by DDC for DOT and DEP.

Storm and Combined Sewers in 229th Street, Southeast Queens

The DDC’s $75 million project that installed storm, sanitary and combined sewers in and around 229th Street in southeast Queens received the Diamond Award in the Waste and Stormwater category. More than 14,600 feet of water mains were installed along with 41 new fire hydrants. More than 8,000 feet of a new sanitary line was installed, connecting 160 houses to the City’s sewer system for the first time.

To alleviate flooding and ponding, the project included the installation of over 6,700 linear feet of new storm sewers and nearly 100 catch basins. The project, managed by DDC for DEP and DOT, also included a tide gate chamber, which controls the water flow from the tidewater area and combined sewer system. Curbs, sidewalks and roads were fully restored with ADA compatible pedestrian ramps.

The project includes the installation of 9-foot by 5-foot storm box sewers to help alleviate roadway flooding

Installation of New Trunk Mains and Distribution Water Mains near 33rd Avenue in Queens

Also in Queens, DDC’s $79 million project that included major water main and sewer upgrades around 33rd Avenue in northeastern Queens received the Platinum Award in the Special Projects category. More than nine miles of trunk main, distribution water main and combined sewers were installed in the 33rd Avenue area. The project included the installation of 6,450 linear feet of a new 72-inch steel trunk water main and 8,850 linear feet of new 48-inch steel trunk water main. Several distribution water mains were also replaced.

water mains installed

Installation of 72-inch and 48-inch trunk water mains at the intersection of 33rd Avenue and 158th Street

To increase drainage capacity, 8,250 linear feet of existing storm, sanitary and combined sewers were replaced. More than 100 sewer manholes and 150 catch basins were also replaced. The project, managed by DDC for DEP, included micro tunneling under the Clearview Expressway, an eight-lane highway. It also reconstructed 3.5 miles of roadway in the area, including curbs, sidewalks and pedestrian ramps.

Reconstruction of Empire Boulevard

The $21 million reconstruction of Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn received the Silver Award in the Special Projects category. The project was managed by DDC for DOT and DEP. The redesign improved pedestrian safety, particularly for the elderly population that uses the busy corridor. The project included slip lane closures, the implementation of wider sidewalks, curb extensions and concrete neckdowns to shorten pedestrian crossings. Large, continuous pedestrian spaces around the intersection of Empire Boulevard and Utica Avenue were also built.

wider sidewalks

Wider sidewalks were implemented for pedestrian safety

Traffic safety was enhanced with operational changes, such as signal timing modification and lane reconfiguration. The project also creates better connections between multiple modes of public transportation. Reinforced concrete bus pads were also added. The project included the replacement of old cast iron water mains, improving water distribution, as well as a local combined sewer.

Replacement of Water Mains and Sewer Upgrades Along Cypress Avenue

The $40 million DDC project that replaced water mains and implemented sewer upgrades in the Ridgewood section of Queens received the Gold Award in the Waste and Stormwater category. The project, managed for DEP, replaced the area’s almost 100-year-old water and sewer lines. This included the installation of nearly 4,000 feet of a 60-inch trunk main, 2,346 feet of 48-inch trunk main and additional trunk and distribution mains. Upgrades to local combined sewers, including the construction of four large underground chambers and the installation of 32 new catch basins.

restored road on Cypress Ave

View of Cypress Avenue restored curb to curb from Willoughby Avenue to Himrod Street

Roads were restored with new asphalt paving. Additionally, 37 fire hydrants were installed and substantial utility upgrades by Con Edison, Verizon and Charter Communication were also completed during the project.

Queens Garage and Community Space

DDC’s $81 million Queens Garage and Community Space, part of the City’s Borough-Based Jails Program, received the Silver Award in the Special Projects category. The project is the City’s first completed using the design-build method of project delivery, and was completed in 22 months – less than half the time expected under the old lowest bidder contracting system – and with significant cost savings.

The garage and community space are adjacent to Queens Borough Hall and the Queens Criminal Courthouse. The eight-level parking garage includes 600 public parking spaces, 63 bicycle racks and an adjacent 25,000 square foot, two-level, flexible, multi-purpose community space. The parking garage and community space includes a partial planted green roof, EV chargers, solar panels and on-site stormwater retention. The community space portion of the project received LEED Gold certification for environmental sustainability, and the parking garage obtained Parksmart certification to recognize that it is high-performing and sustainable.

completed queens garage and community space

The garage and community space building at the Queens site of Borough-Based Jails is the City’s first project completed using the design-build method of contracting

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 Adams’ 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 $24 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