The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Thursday honored WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, with five Engineering Excellence Awards, including a Grand Award for the Canarsie Tunnel Sandy Rehabilitation and L Line Core Capacity Improvement project.
WSP USA, in a joint venture with PTG, served as prime consultant for the assessment and design of the Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation and core capacity improvements following damage sustained in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy. The work was performed on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Construction and Development (MTA C&D)/New York City Transit.
Submerged in an estimated seven million gallons of salty floodwater from Sandy for over 11 days, the brackish floodwaters degraded or ruined virtually everything in the tunnel, including tracks, switches, signals, controls and power and communications systems. The storm also severely damaged the mid-river pump room and circuit breaker house. The extensive Sandy damages initiated the Canarsie Tunnel Rehabilitation and L Train Core Capacity Improvements project integrating tunnel rehabilitations; accessibility upgrades at 1st Avenue and Bedford Avenue Stations; and construction of a new underground substation at 14th Street near Avenue B.
With a mandate to keep the subway line running and serving riders, the WSP team worked closely with MTA C&D representatives, contractor, construction management team and project stakeholders to incorporate innovative design and construction approach and adopt an operation that limited closures to a single track on weeknights and weekends throughout tunnel rehabilitation to improve resiliency and prepare the line for increased future service. The tunnel, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn under the East River and accommodates an average of 400,000 riders daily, returned to full service on April 26, 2020, three months ahead of the schedule without a full shutdown and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By starting the tunnel rehabilitation on schedule in April 2019, the project team avoided schedule delays from the start,” said Jeremy Hung, WSP project manager. “The innovative design techniques and construction approaches used provide more options for future transit tunnel projects to help minimize disruptions and inconvenience for the public.”
WSP USA also earned four Honor Awards. The recipients included:
- S. Tennis Association, Louis Armstrong Stadium, New York. (Building/Technology Systems) WSP developed the conceptual design and analysis for the sports facility’s natural ventilation system, the first of its kind for a retractable roof tennis stadium. The innovative system at the host of the U.S. Open allows for continuous tournament play during inclement weather conditions and maintains an outdoor feel when stadium’s retractable roof is closed. WSP was also responsible for the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering design.
- Reconstruction of Interstate 84 in Waterbury Connecticut. (Transportation) WSP served as the lead designer for this highway widening and capacity improvement project that included realignment and reconfiguration of the ramps, replacement of eight bridges (including four over watercourses), one pedestrian bridge over the Mad River, seven culverts, 20 retaining walls and safety improvements to portions of local roads and intersections.
- World Trade Center Downtown Restoration, New York. (Special Projects) WSP served as program manager for the 20-plus projects that encompassed the restoration of the World Trade Center complex. One of the largest construction programs in one of the most visible, politically sensitive, and dynamic environments in the world, the WSP team worked together in a unified mission with more than 100 consultants in the planning, design and construction of this progressive, modern, mixed-use complex.
- New York Harbor Water Siphon Replacement Project, Brooklyn/Staten Island. (Water Services) WSP, in a joint venture with LiRo, served as the construction project oversight and resident engineering services consultant for the replacement of water siphons between Brooklyn and Staten Island. The project was instigated by the need for dredging of Anchorage Channel — the gateway to the Port of New York and New Jersey — from 45- to 54-feet below mean low water depth to accommodate larger cargo ship sizes.