Proactive Cemetery Infrastructure Management

The Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral hired Woodard & Curran to perform structural evaluations and make recommendations to address issues affecting the infrastructure at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, including the St. Francis of Assisi chapel and roadways throughout the property.

The Trustees were looking for a way to proactively manage emerging issues with the cemetery’s 10 miles of roadway, such as cracks and crumbling pavement, that were a detriment to both safety and aesthetics. The project included repaving three and a half miles of road, replacing curbs, and reinforcing portions of the road with a geosynthetic to extend the life of the pavement. Additionally, some areas of the cemetery’s roadway have little shoulder with a steep drop-off on one side. Wooden guiderails were installed in these areas as an added safety measure.

The cemetery’s St. Francis of Assisi Chapel was another of the Trustees’ priorities; it had been unusable for years due to structural issues that allowed water to leak into the building on a regular basis. Leaking windows in the chapel were replaced, alongside the addition of radiant heat and upgraded utilities to make the space more comfortable for cemetery visitors.

The project also included improving the cemetery’s water and stormwater system, along with providing Gate of Heaven Cemetery a new fuel management system and assistance with burial expansion plans. All the components of this comprehensive effort were carried out simultaneously, and both upfront planning and implementation phases were a team effort between the Trustees and Woodard & Curran.

Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Hawthorne, NY



Anthony Catalano

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