NEW YORK — The City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation (NYCDP&R) recently held the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Harlem River Bikeway and Esplanade. Dewberry performed inspection as well as civil and structural engineering design services to reconstruct the public bikeway and esplanade in Harlem River Park between East 139th and East 145th Streets in the Borough of Manhattan.

Dewberry designed the Harlem River Bank Restoration, incorporating solutions that support estuarine life, reduce wave energy, and provide greenery, bioremediation, and safe access. Dewberry considered various alternatives before selecting gabions for the bank’s edge, based on cost, durability, appearance, local availability, and installation feasibility.

The Harlem River is a tidal estuary connecting the waters of the Hudson and East Rivers, developed as a shipping channel in the 19th century. Over the years, the sheet pile seawall protecting the bank suffered extensive corrosion and developed holes ranging from one millimeter to six millimeters. At high tide, water entered through these holes and exited at low tide. This pumping action removed soils behind the seawall creating sinkholes large enough to engulf newly planted trees and paving, which made the area unsafe.

Dewberry helped the NYCDP&R improve the quality of life by combining the design and ideas of community stakeholders to provide an environment that is safe and eco-friendly, with paths for walking, jogging, and bike riding; tide pools for entertainment; and a cove for fishing and relaxation.

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