Urban Engineers (Urban) recently hosted a group of clients and members of the firm for a day-long public tour of the NYC “Mega Projects” – East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway and One World Trade Center. Urban has been playing a vital role in managing the construction of these projects.
The tour began at Urban’s New York City (NYC) office with a warm welcome from Urban’s Senior Vice President, William Thomsen, PE, a key contributor and Program Director in obtaining approval for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s entry into the $4.0 billion Full Funding Grant for the East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway projects, the largest ever granted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Following the welcome, Urban’s NYC Deputy Office Manager, Edwin Williamson, PE, presented on Urban’s Program Management Oversight of the East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway projects, two of the largest public works projects ever in America. The group visited the East Side Access site in Queens where they could witness the unique challenges of the project, which, by 2020, is expected to provide a more convenient trip for the 160,000 daily trips by Long Island Rail Road passengers to Mid-Town Manhattan.
After returning to the NYC office for refreshments, the group assembled for a presentation of One World Trade Center (previously referred to as the Freedom Tower) by John Sabatino, AIA, LEED® AP. This was followed by a visit to the construction site where, as part of a joint venture, Urban has been monitoring the design and construction of the $3.1 billion project since 2007. Mr. Sabatino is leading the technical effort for the joint venture by supplying legal and accounting professionals with the technical architectural and engineering expertise required to provide the monitoring for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) executive team.
The final stop was for a World Trade Center Memorial tour, where Urban’s Safety Manager Christopher Connor, retired Fire Department City of New York Fire Marshall, spoke about his experience as a survivor and first responder to the site during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“The size, scale and logistics of the Mega Projects were very impressive and should be witnessed first-hand,” said Aegis Property Group Partner Jim Price, who attended the tour. “Urban’s role in overseeing these projects is vital as the organizational structure and dynamics required to implement such major undertakings places great demands on the federal and local transit authorities. In many ways, these projects were far more complex than large scale commercial projects…but, after all, how many $12 billion-plus commercial projects are there?”
Urban is planning to continue these tours during 2012.