Arcadis has been named as part of the team to support a multiphase flood protection scheme to improve coastal resilience for New York city’s East Side.
The firm will take on the role of “Engineer of Record” for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to design of the flood protection for the New York City’s East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project in the borough of Manhattan.
The project is being carried out to try to safeguard around 4km of the Lower East Side against severe weather events and continued sea level rise.
Arcadis, in collaboration with the City of New York and local communities, will design flood protection solutions “that merge into the urban fabric” for 200,000 residents and 21,000 businesses. It will also develop supporting documentation necessary for changes to FEMA flood hazard maps.
It said design features would incorporate a combination of architectural floodwalls, bridging berms, embankments, moveable floodgates, and interior drainage improvements. These would be integrated with East River Park amenities to include recreational facilities, pedestrian and bicycle pathways.
Five years ago, hurricane Sandy caused around £2.2bn of damage to the city, flooding the subway, damaged homes and businesses and closed the New York Stock Exchange for two days. It is hoped the new defences will protect against a similar event.
New York subway after superstorm sandy
“New York City is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise as proven by Hurricane Sandy’s economic impacts on the city’s dense population and business centers as well as underground infrastructure,” said Arcadis city executive for New York City Peter Glus. “Our team brings a wealth of expertise in climate change adaptability and resilience from our Dutch heritage and from our experienced engineers who designed flood protection systems across the Louisiana coast following Hurricane Katrina.”