397462 - Coastal Resiliency in Broad Channel

Tuesday, June 5
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Northstar B

Broad Channel is located within Jamaica Bay in the Borough of Queens. This community experiences several days of coastal flooding each month, based on the lunar cycle. The perigean spring tide and storm events compound the flooding. Rising sea levels (over 1-foot in the last century) continue to worsen the problem, especially as global climate models (GCM’s) continue to predict an increased rate of sea level rise. Although urban coastal communities will always be at risk, street elevations below high tide elevations, combined with inadequate coastal protection, exacerbate the problem.

The current flooding impacts the neighborhood residents, causing the street to be out of use for several hours during each event. These events impede emergency and local services, and place the entire community at risk.

The solution elevated the project streets by as much as 3-feet above the historical flood plain, and unified the roadway and sidewalk surface, using the concept of a shared street, where sidewalk and travel-way are at the same level. Instead of separating people with bulkheads, berms, and walls, effectively cutting folks off from the natural environment, in an effort to protect them from future flooding, the solution brought the community closer together.

This project set the standard for community outreach, elevating the public perception of the engineer as a problem solver, with an understanding of community and place. During the design process, we met with the community over a dozen times to solicit ideas, create a shared vision, and develop a partnership based on trust.

Joseph S. Menzer



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397462 - Coastal Resiliency in Broad Channel

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