Projects

MFS Supports NYC Agencies in Improvements to Park and Playground Access

MFS Engineers NYC Parks Teardrop Park Land Surveying Elizabeth Felicella 1

This summer, outdoor public spaces in New York City are in the spotlight as a hub for all events and social interactions. Many of these open spaces were included in a 2007 city-wide plan to improve the utilization of land that has succeeded in adding nearly 182 acres of parkland to NYC. Still, according to NYCdata, “NYC has less green space per person than almost any other major city in the U.S. As the city's population continues to grow, the need to create new parks and open spaces also increases,”.

In collaboration with New York City public agencies like the EDC, Battery Park City Authority, and NYC Parks, as well as architects and engineers from the Metropolitan area, MFS has provided services to help expand and enrich these spaces, bringing the City's plan to create access to green space for all closer to realization.

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Starlight Park Bronx River Greenway - Geotechnical Engineering
Courtesy of NYC Parks

One area of focus for improvement has been the Bronx River Greenway, a transformation worth $40 Million, a capstone on exertions of recent decades to restore the ecology and health of the river. The ongoing project restores the shoreline of the Bronx River and extends nearby Starlight Park. Commissioner of NYC Parks, Mitchell J. Silver, explains, “The Bronx River Greenway provides the unique opportunity to walk, jog, run or ride a bike along the only freshwater river in New York City.” (NYC Parks, 2016)

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Starlight Park Bronx River Greenway - Geotechnical Engineering
Courtesy of NYC Parks

The project, once completed, will create a continuous greenway trail and system of new City parks along the Bronx River accessible to thousands of Bronx residents and visitors. MFS Engineers & Surveyors Geotechnical Engineering Team is providing special inspections during subsurface investigations and supporting the custom design of several different landscape areas, each of which present unique engineering and environmental challenges, including wetlands and mud flats.

NV5 Director of Landscape Architecture, Jackson Wandres RLA, explains, “In addition to the multi-use pathways and park spaces included in the design, valuable recreational components such as sports facilities and playgrounds have been included in the scope of work that will help this new park become a popular destination in South Bronx."

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Starlight Park Bronx River Greenway - Geotechnical Engineering
Courtesy of NYC Parks.

Another city-wide initiative that attempts to address under-utilized outdoor spaces is the NYC Parks Schoolyards to Playgrounds program, which renovates participating schoolyards and makes them available to the public during non-school hours. According to the NYC Parks, “Schoolyards that participate in Schoolyards to Playgrounds receive improvements such as sports courts, play equipment, trees, and benches.” [4]

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - PS 89 - Land Surveying

One of these schoolyards, located Warren and West Streets, is an elementary school P.S. 89 for children in Pre-K through 5th grades living full-time in northern Battery Park City. MFS Engineers & Surveyors provided land surveying services in support of restoration and modification to the existing playground, including a field survey to locate physical, surface utilities, and drainage features.

In nearby Battery Park City, several parks are available for public enjoyment. A small but dazzling example of NYC Parks is Teardrop Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in 2004.

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Teardrop Park - Land Surveying
Photo by Elizabeth Felicella. Park Design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, 2004.

This park, a hidden gem in the most literal sense of the word, “is a significant lesson in landscape design, successfully integrating issues of materiality, sustainability, spatial differentiation, programming, and circulation”

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Teardrop Park - Land Surveying
Photo by Elizabeth Felicella. Park Design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, 2004.

MFS provided survey services to the park as part of a on-call for engineering services provided to the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA).

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Teardrop Park - Land Surveying

These examples are just a small part of the effort to reclaim underutilized spaces for public recreation. Agencies like NYC Economic Development Corp. (EDC) have several redevelopment projects in the works. In Brooklyn, the EDC is “advancing an additional section of the waterfront esplanade located at the Manhattan footing of the Brooklyn Bridge. This section, the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade (BBE), is approximately 1500-ft and will give the community additional opportunities along the waterfront under the FDR.” [6]

MFS Engineers - Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade - Geotechnical Drilling - Structural Engineering
Rendering courtesy of NYCEDC.

MFS Engineers & Surveyors provided Geotechnical Drilling as well as Support of Excavation services, to support the overall design and infrastructure of this ongoing project. MFS additionally works with the NYCEDC on a variety of other projects aimed at better serving the residents of New York.

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade - Geotechnical and Structural Engineering - NYCEDC

Another NYC EDC revitalization project is Orchard Beach State Park, in the Bronx, New York. The project included comprehensive renovation project of a historic beach pavilion structure and improvements to the beach and recreational areas.

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Orchard Beach State Park - Construction Management
Courtesy of NYC Parks.

MFS Engineers & Surveyors provided a full suite of services for the first phases of this rehabilitation project, including land survey, site-civil engineering, structural foundation engineering, and geotechnical engineering services. MFS additionally provided services for a later phase, providing Construction Management and Geotechnical Drilling services to support the architects.

According to NYC Parks, Orchard Beach was “proclaimed ‘The Riviera of New York’ when it was created in the 1930s. The 115-acre, 1.1-mile-long beach contains a hexagonal-block promenade, a central pavilion,” and recreational pursuits for several age groups and activity-levels. The goal of the project is to restore the beach to the prominence it once enjoyed.

MFS Engineers - NYC Parks - Orchard Beach State Park - Site Engineering
Courtesy of NYC Parks.

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