2017: The Year of the Commuter

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we would like to highlight some projects that will reshape area transportation and ease the way for thousands of commuters.  One improvement will be ready for use as early as January 1st, when the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway opens.  Others should be evident a little later in the year—emotive lighting on bridges and tunnels and the north span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.  One change is already in place—remnants of a World Trade Center passageway dating to the 1970s.

The HAKS Family wishes you and yours a happy and healthy 2017. Safe travels.
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Airborne Trains Traveling on Strings

Unitsky String Transport (UST) is a transportation system developed by Russian inventor Anatoly Unitsky as a railway consisting not of steel tracks bolted to ties but rather elevated high-tension concrete- and steel-enveloped wires strung between towers, thereby offering rails that can traverse uneven terrain, forests, or water without the prohibitively expensive infrastructure required by conventional transit systems. Furthermore, UST can traverse obstacles in a straight line, thereby obviating the need to circumnavigate impediments or build switchbacks and considerably reducing the distance between two points.

Unitsky began developing the concept back in 1977. His design uses high-tension steel wires inserted into a concrete-resin core and enveloped by steel shells and elevated from three to 30 meters from the ground (or potentially even higher, if the terrain necessitates it). While this might sound like a conventional ropeway (like a chairlift or the Roosevelt Island Tramway), it differs in its much higher cable tension with sag of less than an inch between support posts, allowing vehicles to travel along the wires with a minimum of drag and at speeds, according to Unitsky, of between 200 and 300 mph. “In fact,” according to newatlas.com, “it’s more accurate to look at a UST track more or less as a tiny pre-stressed concrete bridge, built for a fraction of the cost of a ground rail system or even a motorway.” Continue Reading…

ACEC New York Recognizes Two HAKS Projects For Engineering Excellence

This year, ACEC New York has recognized two high-profile transportation projects—one in New York and one in Connecticut. The Gowanus Expressway (I-278) in Brooklyn, New York, is a critical component of New York City’s highway system, connecting the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, a distance of approximately six miles. The approximately 200,000 vehicles that utilize the Gowanus Expressway each day will undoubtedly benefit from the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) extensive improvements to this transportation corridor.BeFunky Collagebl

I-95 between Interchange 14 and 15 in Norwalk, Connecticut, had been referred to as “the worst highway choke point on the I-95 corridor” prior to recent upgrades by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT). Continue Reading…

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation: A FAST Act for the 21st Century

Cedar Street Bridge over I-95In December 2015, a new surface transportation act was signed into law—the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act– providing long-term funding for surface transportation and allowing state and local governments to address critical highway and transit improvements. The $305 billion Act reauthorizes funding for federal highway and public transportation for fiscal years 2016-2020 and stabilizes the Highway Trust Fund during that five-year period. Continue Reading…

OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City

DSC07801 REVLast month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, the successor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability oversaw its development and shares responsibility with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency for ensuring its implementation. OneNYC addresses challenges such as a population of 9 million by 2040, changing climate conditions and aging infrastructure through principles of growth, sustainability, resiliency and equity. The plan builds on the four core challenges addressed in past PlaNYC reports with the addition of growing inequality, the importance of the region and New York City “voices”—a reference to the necessary input of a broad range of residents. The plan also acknowledges the growing gap between “technology haves and have-nots.” Continue Reading…

Transformation of West Side of Manhattan

Rezoning from a manufacturing to commercial and residential area, the soon-to-be-completed $2.4 billion extension of the No. 7 subway line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue and the popularity of the High Line were necessary steps to bringing New Yorkers and tourists to the Far West Side of Manhattan, where a massive redevelopment is taking place. This underused area has become a developer’s dream, and the transformation of this area is not that far from becoming a reality.

No. 7 Subway Extension

No. 7 Subway Extension

The 1.5-mile extension of the No. 7 line from its current terminus at Times Square to what will be known as the 34th Street/Hudson Yards Station was a crucial element to the development of this area, and is projected to be the busiest single station in New York City. HAKS provided civil and structural engineering design as a subconsultant to Parsons Brinckerhoff and is now part of the construction management team working toward the 2014 completion of this link to the Far West Side of Manhattan.

 

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Hudson Yards Rail Yard

The Hudson Yards Redevelopment project, often referred to as the “final frontier” for development in Manhattan, is a planned $15 billion, 26-acre transit-oriented, mixed-use development on the scale of Rockefeller Center. The development will include new parks and open public spaces and a 750-seat public school. HAKS is providing special inspection and material testing for a platform over active LIRR tracks, which will serve as the foundation for two high-rise office towers, including steel fabrication in out-of-state plants.

Phase I, the Eastern Phase, will consist of two office towers bordering Tenth Avenue—10 Hudson Yards, an 895-foot-tall, 52-story structure that broke ground in December 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2015, and 30 Hudson Yards, a 1,337-foot-tall, 80-story structure scheduled for occupancy in 2018.  The towers will be seeking LEED Gold certification.

The Hudson Yards redevelopment project is expected to provide more than 23,000 construction jobs and more than 700 residential, commercial and security positions.