East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (EXPANDED)

East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (EXPANDED) 

Editor: Debbie Reaney 

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest, most destructive, and strongest hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season. It completely devastated the Northeast region, particularly New York City, its suburbs, and Long Island. Sandy's impacts included the flooding of the New York City Subway system, many suburban communities, and all the road tunnels entering Manhattan with the exception of the Lincoln Tunnel. Forty-four individuals lost their lives and $19 Million in residential damages were just two of the dreadful aftermaths of the storm. In the wake of this tragedy, New York City officials quickly got to work creating a plan to safeguard the coast from future flooding. As sea levels continue to rise due to coastal storms and other threats posed by climate change, New York is doing its part to protect the parks, neighborhoods, and vegetation across Manhattan's East Side against future storm damage and flooding. The East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project aims to offer protection to significant infrastructure including a major pump station and an electrical substation, which powers much of Lower Manhattan, as well as numerous local schools and libraries. These updates, along with a 2.4-mile flood plan including floodgates and floodwalls, will be built right into the fabric of the community, and is expected to keep 110,000 lives safe. Beginning in late Fall 2020, the $1.45-billion project involves elevating the East River Park, installing flood walls, and reconstructing the waterfront bulkhead to enhance flood resiliency. Significant upgrades will also be given to the various public open spaces and five parks, including improved waterfront access through reconstructed bridges and entry points; while also upgrading existing sewer systems to capture and manage precipitation during storms. With its dense urban environment and complex below and above-ground infrastructure, the ESCR project is among the largest and most technically complex developments in New York City's history. Due to the shear scope of this plan, construction in the Manhattan area is expected to continue through 2026 and when completed, will protect the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who live in this high impact area. 

For part of the first phase of this massive undertaking, portions of the foundation work for the ESCR were completed by Posillico Inc and Atlantic Pile in a joint venture. While working under the FDR Bridge, on the east side of Manhattan, Posillico Civil Atlantic Pile Joint Venture encountered a few unique job challenges, including making sure that this major throughfare into the city continued to flow uninterrupted. Understanding how to select the proper equipment can make or break a project; with this in mind the industry experts at Posillico Civil Atlantic Pile JV turned to the experts at ICE® (International Construction Equipment, Inc.) to provide the proper drill and tooling equipment to accomplish the work quickly and safely. After speaking with their ICE® Sales & Service Team, the decision was made to purchase and utilize a Comacchio MC8D drill rig in tandem with a Tecniwell TW700 Jet Grout and Tecniwell TWM40 Grout Mixing Plant. This combination gave the Posillico/Atlantic JV crew the ability to fill in foundation holes with the rig as they were created, saving both time and money. Afterwards sheet piles were driven, and the high-powered jet grout pump was once again used to plug any gaps surrounding the piles. This method allows for a strong driven pile foundation which is further strengthened by the grout. The Comacchio MC8D, a versatile and powerful hydraulic drilling rig, designed for civil engineering works such as micropiles, anchors and ground improvement in general was used throughout the job for many different applications, as the scope of the project was so vast.  

Gateway Demo/Civil Corp. out of Hicksville, NY was another one of many contractors selected to work on this early phase of the project. Their portion of this venture required them to drive H-Beams for the park's reconstructed and reconfigured outfall system that will reroute more of the storm drainage on the western, residential side of the park. Outfalls are pipelines or tunnels that discharge municipal or industrial wastewater, storm water, combined sewer overflows, cooling water, or brine effluents to a receiving water body. Strengthening the storm sewer outfall helps mitigate rain and tide waters from backflowing through the stormwater sewer system and flooding the neighborhood during storm surges. When it came time to select proper equipment to drive the H-piles for this important portion of the project, ICE® supplied Gateway with the ICE® 22 Vibratory Pile Driver to drive the piles ten feet underground. Additionally, an ICE® I-12 Diesel Hammer was utilized in driving the piles further allowing for a drainage pipe to be laid on top. The drainage pipe will then direct storm runoff into the river and lessen the chances of overflow in the area.  

This project is intended to build physical, social, and economic resiliency, strengthening the City's coastline while improving waterfront open space and accessibility.  

The benefits and goals of the NYC East Side Coastal Resiliency Project include: 

  • Flood Risk Reduction from future storm surge and sea-level rise. 

  • Improved Access with expanded connections between local communities and the waterfront along with designs created to meet universal access standards. 

  • Enhanced Public Spaces with resilient design, updated recreation facilities, increased multi-use spaces, new furnishings, and ecologically diverse landscaping. 


Manhattan's East Side is vulnerable to future flooding from catastrophic storm events like Hurricane Sandy The reconstructed East River Park will continue to offer the many amenities that New Yorkers have come to know and love. New spaces for relaxation and sports will also be created upon completion of the ESCR project. Here is what to expect: 

  • Reconstructed recreation fields & courts, track and field, and playgrounds.
  • Rebuilt, state-of-the art play areas at Delancey Street and East 10th Street. 
  • A new water play area at Houston Street.
  • Two redesigned waterfront embayments, which will allow park users to get down to the water more easily. 
  • A rebuilt amphitheater for more flexible community programming, and to meet universal accessibility. 
  • Rebuilt tennis house, track house, and 10th Street restrooms to meet modern facility standards, including accessibility that follow current ADA guidelines. 

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is the first step in the City's plan for a larger coastal protection system in Lower Manhattan. While the project is being designed as a stand-alone "compartment" to reduce flood risk between East 25th Street and Montgomery Street, it will tie-in with various other initiatives in Lower Manhattan, including the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency, Resilient Neighborhoods Study, Con Edison Resiliency, Hospital Row Investments, and NYCHA Resiliency projects. Building the substructure for these incredibly significant pieces of the puzzle has recently been completed and ICE® is proud to have provided both the Posillico/Atlantic JV and Gateway Demo/Civil Corp teams some of the equipment necessary to complete those jobs quickly and safely.  

In addition to providing flood protection, the project will strengthen and enhance waterfront spaces on Manhattan's East Side by improving accessibility, increasing ecological diversity, and delivering improved recreational amenities to a vibrant and highly diverse community. Bravo to these amazing teams of engineers, contractors, and construction experts! International Construction Equipment, Inc. looks forward to continuing to be part of the creation of a beautiful (and safer) new public recreational space for Lower Manhattan residents. The strong foundations put in place will certainly help ensure a flood-free future for New York.

Posted in Comacchio Drill Rigs, Diesel Impact Pile Hammers, ICE Team, Vibratory Pile Hammers. Tagged as #FloodResiliency, Comacchio MC8D, Flood protection, ICE 22 Vibratory Pile Driver, ICE I-12 Diesel Hammer, MunicipalityInstall, Tecniwell.

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