C+S May 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 5 (web)

An inconspicuous transportation revolution is taking advantage of one of NewYork City’s greatest attributes: its robust waterways. With pre-pandemic subways and buses at near or full capacity and the highest commute time of any major U.S. city, New York sought options to bring the best service and quality-of-life to residents and commuters at the water’s edge. Placing priority on expanding citywide connectivity and modernizing in - frastructure across all five boroughs, the waters around New York City have become integral to the solution. The strategic expansion of ferry-based infrastructure solves for a historically overburdened transportation network and, in a post pandemic world, offers commut- ers an open-air option capable of better ensuring social distancing measures. The NYC Ferry expansion project, originally named by the NYCEDC as the Citywide Ferry Service, was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration in 2015 with goals to relieve part of the load of the city’s transportation system while connecting 20+ waterfront communities, many of which had historically been considered “transit deserts”. The plan would provide affordable and convenient transit options for communi - ties, support growing neighborhoods, connect people to jobs and economic opportunities throughout the city, and increase the resiliency and redundancy of its trans- portation network. REIMAGINING RESILIENT TRAnSPORTATION: NYC FERRY SYSTEM By Stephen A. Famularo, PE, D.PE

permitting processes to coordinate should the ferries be constructed upland. Second, prefabricated barges were already in the process of being constructed prior to the team’s involvement, making the design dependent on specifications created by other entities. Third, the entire structure needed to be resilient and adaptable in order to make the ferry system work as a mass transit hub and an emergency relief service op - tion. To combat these challenges and create a unified ferry system that was adaptable and resilient, McLaren developed an innovative stan - dardized system consisting of a prefabricated floating barge, canopy, steel piles, fenders, gangway, and passenger amenities. To reduce coordination with individual property owners, the gangways were designed not connected to land, but instead sitting on an inde- pendent pile cap. This reduced the need for coordination, inspection, drawing research, and analysis of each site, enabling the team to re- main on track with time. The connection from the barge to the upland, by a gangway, is independent of the existing bulkhead, esplanade, or platform. By installing a mini-platform adjacent to the land, all loads

Until this recent expansion effort, the City’s ferry service had two main roles within the transportation system: (1) providing additional commuter capacity in routes that had become overcrowded with pro - hibitive traffic/delays, and (2) providing targeted relief for commuters affected by an abrupt loss in ground transportation service (situations like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy). NYCEDC launched the first phase of NYC Ferry system in May of 2017 with McLaren Engineering Group contracted to provide engineering consulting services for the development, investigation, planning, design, coordination, permitting, procurement, and con- struction administration of 11 new ferry landings and the restoration of two others. The project came with a strict construction deadline and a few unique challenges. First, the team would be working on 13 landings with separate owners, meaning 13 individual approvals, inspections, and



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