Environmental concerns framed the development of Philadelphia’s first casino – formerly known as SugarHouse, which is located on the Delaware River waterfront.
As the first casino within Philadelphia city limits, Rivers Casino (formerly known as SuguarHouse) aspired to entertain the city, bolster the economy, and benefit its local neighborhood - Fishtown. Constructed on the site of the former Jack Frost Sugar Refinery along the Delaware River waterfront, the $500 million, 25,000-sf casino opened in 2010. It features 3,000 slots and various restaurants and bars.
Urban was the lead civil, marine, and environmental engineer for the project. Environmental permits related to the casino’s riverside location. We completed a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit application, PADEP General Permit applications, and Army Corp Permit applications (among many others), documented compliance with the city’s latest ordinances and provided threatened and endangered species and fisheries surveys.
The marine engineering involved design of approximately 1,200-lf of sheet-pile bulkhead to stabilize the waterfront for the entire property and the foundation to support the combined sewer overflow. We also designed retaining walls and bridges for pedestrians and vehicles.
Site development focused on the geometric design of access roads, site layout and grading, site utility design, stormwater management, and securing zoning and land development approvals from the City. In cooperation with PWD, we also planned the relocation of two combined sewer outfalls running through the site. The outfalls were single 9.5’x9.5’ and dual 11’x11’ box culverts with associated headwalls and regulator chambers.
Site development also assisted with the later Casino expansion that included an additional back of house space, a new 7-story parking garage, a relocated main entrance along Delaware Avenue, and a redeveloped/reconfigured northern half of the site to accommodate the expansion.
The original casino offered 3,000 slots, restaurants, and bars. Urban returned to the casino in 2014 to assist with expansion.