Daylighting project in Yonkers to restore downtown river

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WARREN, NJ, Mar. 21, 2011 -- PS&S, the highly acclaimed design and engineering firm, is serving as design engineer for a unique project that calls for "daylighting" the Saw Mill River in Yonkers, NY. In the mid 1920's, the river within the Yonkers Downtown was covered in response to its polluted condition at that time. Daylighting the river will restore this natural asset to public use which will, in turn, help generate additional environmental benefits and economic revitalization activity in the City. Work on the project began in December 2010 and is expected to be completed late summer 2012.

Rivers are typically viewed as urban assets, focal points for residential and retail uses. However, this has not been the case with the Saw Mill River within Downtown Yonkers. Turn of the Century Industrialization led to extensive pollution in the river. This prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to build a massive flume to carry the River beneath Larkin Plaza in the center of the City. Eighty years later, then Governor George Pataki first came up with the idea that the river could again become an asset. Now, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone has championed the daylighting project as a centerpiece of the City's overall revitalization program.

"When we first solicited proposals for how best to turn the Saw Mill River from a liability into an asset, PS&S submitted the proposal that was by far the most creative," said Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone. "They shared a very exciting vision of how the Saw Mill River could be leveraged for maximum impact to the community. More importantly, they thoroughly understood and addressed the many complex engineering challenges associated with the project."

PS&S, as the design engineer for the project, has been responsible for creating a park with maximum aesthetic appeal with a complex, functioning hydrological system. This required careful consideration of hydrology; riverine wildlife migration and habitat requirements; pedestrian access to historic and community resources; flood control; storm water management; landscape design and other essential aesthetic concepts. The final design incorporates appropriate hydrophytic and indigenous terrestrial vegetation together with active debris netting chambers to manage and improve the River's water quality before it enters the Mighty Hudson River.

"PS&S is delighted to be working on such a unique project that should serve as a textbook case study for other communities interested in pursuing similar urban revitalization projects," said Anthony Sartor, PE, CEO of PS&S. "It is always exciting to be part of a project that will generate so many positive environmental, aesthetic and economic benefits."

As a result of this project, Larkin Plaza, formerly utilized primarily for parking space, will be a significant urban space, a valuable public amenity that has a positive impact on its surroundings. It will be a venue for civic activities, holiday and seasonal festivals, greenmarkets, and other community events. The daylighting will create a point of interest -- a destination rather than a pass-through -- that will attract people to the neighborhood and bring business to surrounding establishments. It will provide a point of connectivity between surrounding neighborhoods, complement other civic improvements being made nearby, and contribute to a larger goal of urban renewal.

About PS&S
PS&S provides total integrated engineering, building design, environmental, and energy consulting services to a wide range of clients including major Real Estate Developers, Healthcare and Higher Educational Institutions, major Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies, the Gaming and Hospitality industry, Fortune 500 companies, and a vast array of public agencies and authorities. PS&S' corporate headquarters is in Warren, NJ. Regional offices are located in Camden and Galloway, NJ; Yonkers and Garden City, NY; and Puerto Rico. PS&S is ranked among the nation's Top Design Firms and Top Green Design Firms by Engineering News Record, is listed among the Engineering/Architectural "Giants" by Building Design and Construction, and is rated one of New Jersey's Top Engineering Firms, Top Architectural Firms and Top Environmental Firms by NJBIZ.

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