Watts provided environmental and engineering services for all phases of the project to remove the Robert Moses Parkway from the eastern portion of the historic Niagara Falls State Park and create a new landscape that includes the new Riverway park drive.
Project Scoping developed alternatives that would reclaim parkland along the Niagara River from automobile-use only and restore pedestrian-scale recreation and cultural functions, as well as wildlife habitat. The Design Report/Environmental Impact Statement (DR/EIS) evaluated the feasible alternatives for a new transportation and landscaping plan based on principles used in the original Frederick Law Olmsted-Calvert Vaux design. Watts conducted impact assessments of: aquatic ecology; terrestrial habitats; surface water; groundwater; environmental contamination; air, noise, and energy considerations; and construction activities.
Following FHWA design approval, Watts provided engineering and environmental services for Final Design and Construction Documents. Watts was responsible for the following plans and cost estimating: interchange/bridge demolition; utilities; lighting of the new Park entrance, drive, and pathways; stormwater management facilities; a large pumping system for a new fishing pond; and a complex work zone traffic control plan. Environmental services continued with: a Phase II subsurface sampling investigation; consultation with NYSDEC regarding reporting and characterizing contamination; and groundwater monitoring and surface water sampling for design of the fishing pond.
Watts’ role also continues with construction support services, including management of work zone traffic control, which was complicated by adjacent construction projects and mandatory year-round Park visitor operations, and minimizing impacts during the critical summer tourist season.
A portion of this NYSDOT project led to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC’s) Robert Moses Parkway-South Site, (#932166), remedial project. Buried drums and contaminated soil were discovered during construction at many locations that made up this NYSDEC Site. Under a separate term contract with NYSDOT, Watts coordinated the investigatory sampling and wrote the Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) work plan for this portion of the hazardous waste site. This involved the cleanup of numerous “hot-spots” of decaying drums and historic fill contaminated by pesticides likely manufactured nearby.