East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers Project, New York, Ari Burling Photography; East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers Project, New York, Ari Burling Photography;

East River Waterfront Esplanade, New York City, NY

A new 1.5mi park and esplanade that improves New Yorkers’ access to the waterfront

A new 1.5mi park and esplanade along the East River improves New Yorkers’ access to the waterfront. Joining the southern tip of Manhattan and East River Park, the East River Waterfront forms part of the Manhattan Greenway, a 32mi bike route around the island that the city government has been planning since the early 1990s.

As partner in a prime consultant joint venture, Arup was responsible for multi-disciplinary building engineering; sustainability consulting; park-wide structural, electrical, and geotechnical engineering; and the strengthening of old piled platforms.

In addition, Arup conducted traffic studies to provide safer pedestrian access to the park, which includes a continuous landscaped esplanade and bikeway, an eco-park at Pier 35, the new two-level Pier 15 with a maritime facility and bar/restaurant, and three pavilions under the FDR Drive providing various recreational, commercial, and maintenance uses. To enable these pavilions to be built within the elevation constraint under the FDR Drive, we assisted the New York City Economic Development Corporation in obtaining a waiver from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals to build below the FEMA flood elevation while still providing resilience in the event of flooding.

As part of our sustainability consulting scope, Arup also ensured the pavilions would comply with new local laws for LEED standards by incorporating energy-efficiency measures, well-insulated facades, and extensive daylighting. A proposed rainwater harvesting system would enable the landscape irrigation system to use treated runoff from the adjacent FDR Drive.