Woodard & Curran Project Wins ACEC Gold Award in New York

Published: 3/23/2015

Woodard & Curran has won a 2015 Gold Engineering Excellence Award from the New York chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies for its work with the Town of Somers, NY on eight stormwater retrofits focused on water quality improvement at Reis Park. The award will be presented at the chapter’s annual Awards Gala on March 28 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

The Town of Somers hired Woodard & Curran to help address new water quality requirements of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit and make improvements to one of the town’s main public spaces, Reis Park. The park is open to the public year-round and offers a variety of recreational activities to residents. Owned and operated by the Town of Somers, the property is shared by the Public Library as well as the town Recreation Department offices. As such, the combination of park improvement projects needed to balance the parking and park use needs for both organizations while maintaining a precise timetable.

The planning of the project required a collaborative effort among the Town of Somers, NYSDEC, East of Hudson Watershed Corporation, the town’s Parks Department, Town Hall personnel, and Woodard & Curran. The entities had to ensure that the retrofit construction did not interfere with overall parks and Town Hall operations, and that it fit into future park development plans, including the construction of a concession stand facility and material storage area.

Woodard & Curran provided infrastructure engineering and design services as well as contract procurement, construction oversight, and inspections during the construction phase of the project. The project involved the design and construction of a porous pavement parking lot at Reis Park and Town Hall, as well as subsurface infiltration systems, rooftop disconnects subsurface filtration system, bioretention basins, and dry swales at Reis Park. The stormwater retrofits implemented through this project reduce the amount of phosphorus draining into the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Croton Watershed, which provides drinking water to New York City and some communities in Westchester County. In addition, the parking and walkway improvements enhance public access to the park. Safety in the parking lot is improved via better handicap access, a new drop off area in front of the town library, and new crosswalks and speed bumps on the main park roadway to protect pedestrians when crossing. New landscape design enhances the visual appeal of the park.

The Town of Somers and Woodard & Curran took social and economic impacts as well as overall sustainability into consideration through every step of this project. The green infrastructure used in the public parking lots and park demonstrates to visitors the value of best management practices, and the biorention basins landscaped with elaborate plantings offer the public a view of stormwater treatment at work. The advanced stormwater retrofits provide the town with an opportunity to participate in a significant water quality improvement project within a sensitive public watershed while also eliminating runoff sources that were having a negative impact on downhill neighbors.

The Engineering Excellence Awards are given annually by the state chapters of the American Council of Engineering Companies. The awards are presented to an engineering firm for a project that exemplifies quality, innovation, value, and client satisfaction.

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