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Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project Honored with Engineering Excellence Award
Publication Date
March 27th 2023, 10:00 am

acec eea team photo 2023 fresh creek social

The Urban / K.S. Joint Venture team at the awards ceremony

Urban is pleased to announce that the Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project in Canarsie was honored with a Gold Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York’s 2023 Engineering Excellence Awards program. The project was recognized in the waste and storm water category at the organization’s 56th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, which took place at the Midtown Hilton in New York City on March 24, 2023.


“We would like to congratulate the Dormitory Authority of New York and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery on this successful completion of this project and on this honor from ACEC New York,” said William Thomsen, PE, president of Urban Engineers of New York, D.P.C. “Urban was proud to provide design solutions with our partners KS Engineers to protect one of the most at-risk sections of Fresh Creek’s shoreline in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn.”


In 2012, the New York shore was hit by Superstorm Sandy and it transformed the way we manage our coastlines. In the event of storms or high tides like Sandy, Canarsie’s Fresh Creek, an inlet of Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, dumps water into the adjacent neighborhood’s storm sewer system— resulting in flooding in addition to the overflow from the creek itself. To address the flooding into the shoreline sewer system, the Dormitory Authority of New York and Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery hired the Urban Engineers and KS Engineers, P.C. Joint Venture consultant team to conduct restoration on the storm sewer system draining into Fresh Creek by constructing tide gates over five storm sewers along 108th Street and reconstructing the Avenue M outfall. The $14 million project installed new tide gate chambers within culverts flowing to Fresh Creek at Avenue K, Avenue L, Avenue M, Avenue N, and Seaview Avenue. The gates, or “flappers,” protect the exit point from the sewage pipelines into the creek. This helps prevent water from the creek from backflowing through culverts and allows the existing drainage system to function more efficiently.


The outfall into Fresh Creek at Avenue M, which was blocked by sedimentation and other debris that hindered the flow of water, was reconstructed with a reinforced concrete storm sewer outfall. As water reaches high levels during storm surges, high tides, and extreme weather events, these measures will prevent water from the creek from flowing back through the storm water sewer system and flooding the neighborhood. Restoration of the Avenue M outfall will mitigate the impacts of erosion currently deteriorating the coastline.


This project will help the community adapt to the effects of climate change by reducing flooding during future storms and due to sea-level rise, as well as helping the area recover more quickly during future storm events. Now that these renovations are complete, elected officials say that residents in the area are no longer complaining about flooding issues.