Bay Park Infrastructure Enhancements

Client: Nassau County Department of Public Works
Location: Nassau County, NY

The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and the surrounding community were hard hit by Superstorm Sandy. The joint venture team of Hazen and Sawyer and Arcadis (with subconsultant Cameron Engineering) prepared preliminary and final designs, and provided start-up operational services for this plant. This upgrade program included a flood barrier system for the entire facility and raised unit substations for added resiliency, as well as parkland improvements, for Nassau County Department of Public Works.

A vulnerability assessment of the facility was performed using the 500-year flood elevation and projected 50-year sea level rise, leading to the unprecedented combination of a full perimeter barrier system and elevated non-submersible equipment. New electrical unit substations were constructed above the projected flood elevation as an added resiliency measure. Bay Park is the only facility to have executed such a mitigation plan to date.

Intensive outreach was conducted to keep the public informed of the efforts to improve their community. Public forums provided detailed presentations to demonstrate complex engineering efforts and technical operations solutions through aesthetically-pleasing flood and energy resiliency measures.

As part of the perimeter flood protection design, our team provided improvements to the surrounding park facilities with a focus on public use, green infrastructure, and alternative drainage systems. Improvements eliminated standing water in the community areas under normal storm and tidal conditions, which had previously been an issue. Park improvements have been well received by the community.

The complex berm and substation projects required extensive coordination with seventeen ongoing construction projects, successfully navigating extreme space constraints and overcoming challenging construction staging limitations. For example, truck routes had to be coordinated between various contracts and plant operators while limiting community impact.

County engineers were involved in all aspects of the design, participating in design reviews and workshops from the conceptual phase to the construction phase. The team worked closely with the County and regulatory agencies to meet funding and grant requirements, secured through the new FEMA 428 block grant program dedicated to expedited storm mitigation projects.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • Design includes the unprecedented combination of a full perimeter barrier system and elevated non-submersible equipment. New electrical unit substations, a critical element, were constructed above the projected flood elevation.
  • Intensive community outreach was conducted to keep the public informed of the efforts to improve their community through aesthetically-pleasing flood and energy resiliency measures.
  • Architectural design enhancements were incorporated to benefit the community, including an architectural finish on the concrete flood wall and access gates fronted by decorative metal screen lattices to improve aesthetics.
  • Park improvements included new synthetic athletic fields with subsurface drainage systems and green infrastructure elements. This eliminates standing water in the community areas under normal storm and tidal conditions, which had previously been an issue.
  • The building envelopes incorporated high recycled content and LED lighting systems for energy conservation and aesthetic appeal.
  • Project was named an ACEC NY Platinum Award winner.

The Program consists of a comprehensive upgrade to critical elements of the facility pertaining to flow conveyance, whereby equipment is either submersible or raised above the projected 500-year flood elevation. All secondary treatment facilities will be flood hardened, as determined by constructability and operability constraints. The Program has an overall budget of $830 million, with $450 million in construction substantially complete or underway. The JV provided master planning services for the upgrade, preliminary designs for all upgrade contracts, and final designs for the most critical aspects of the upgrade: the plant perimeter flood barrier and the electrical distribution system.

Designed by the JV, the berm and flood wall perimeter protection system is the plant’s primary line of defense. Substantially complete, the perimeter system will protect the facility from the projected 500-year storm surge and provides two points of access to the facility. A new electrical distribution system will replace the main and unit substations, with elevated facilities as an additional level of flood protection. Phase E1 is now substantially complete, consolidating four unit substations into three. For both fast track projects, design was completed within six months of notice to proceed and an aggressive construction schedule was established. The facility is flood hardened beyond any other Sandy-damaged facility in the Northeast United States within four years of the Superstorm.

As part of the recovery effort, the JV assisted Nassau County in applying for funding under the pilot FEMA 428 program. The program allows for up front funding of expedited critical repair and mitigation projects, crucial for the County with its limited bonding capacity. As part of the successful application, the JV prepared extensive damage and vulnerability assessments which categorized each asset into five prioritization tiers.

For more information on this project, or to discuss a similar project in your area, contact Mike Denicola at mdenicola@hazenandsawyer.com