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Tue May 11 2021

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Arcadis picked for Manhattan coastal protection

26 Sep 17 Arcadis is to lead the design of a project that will enhance protection of the coastline of the Manhattan area of New York.

Conceptual design depicting future urban flood protection solutions for Manhattan - image by Bjarke Ingels Group
Conceptual design depicting future urban flood protection solutions for Manhattan - image by Bjarke Ingels Group

It has been named engineer of record for the city of New York’s East Side coastal resiliency project (ESCR).

Arcadis is part of a team supporting New York City’s efforts to safeguard the Lower East Side against severe weather events and continued sea level rise.

The ESCR Project, led by the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, is an urban flood protection solution spanning 2.5 miles of Lower Manhattan, including the East Side, and is the first element of coastal storm and defence system for the East Side and Lower Manhattan.

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Hurricane Sandy devastated coastal zones and low-lying urban areas of New York City, and Manhattan’s economy suffered during and after the storm. Neighborhoods, businesses and underground transportation systems flooded and the New York Stock Exchange closed for two days. Hurricane Sandy brought to the forefront New York’s vulnerability to coastal flooding and the need to improve its resiliency to severe weather events.

“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 Peter Glus, Arcadis city executive for New York City. The team draws on its experience in climate change adaptability and resilience from its Dutch heritage and from engineers who designed flood protection systems across the Louisiana coast following Hurricane Katrina.

In collaboration with the city of New York and local communities, Arcadis will design flood protection solutions that merge into the urban fabric for 200,000 residents and 21,000 businesses.  Arcadis will also develop supporting documentation necessary for changes to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood hazard maps. Design features will incorporate a combination of architectural floodwalls, bridging berms, embankments, moveable floodgates, and interior drainage improvements, all integrated with East River Park amenities to include recreational facilities, pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

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