Bruce Podwal Seminar Series
Rehabilitation of Tunnel Walls, Roadway and Superstorm Sandy Restoration and Mitigation at the Queens Midtown Tunnel
John C. Deerkoski, PE, MASCE
Vice President, Director NYC Metro Transportation Design Build, AECOM
12 – 1 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020
Abstract: On October 30, 2012 floodwaters, driven by Super storm Sandy, overflowed the banks of the East River, and breached Newtown Creek on the Queens side and flooded the Queens Midtown Tunnel twin tubes, damaging the electrical systems and contaminating the structural components. The tunnel was rendered unusable until it’s reopening to the public on November 9, 2012. Emergency measures were employed to place the tunnel temporarily back in operation, but long term repairs were needed to restore the tunnel to a state of good repair.
AECOM, was selected to perform a post-Sandy Emergency assessment, develop FEMA Grant materials, and develop a rehabilitation contract to repair the tunnel bring it up to current standards. The contract was modified to include modern safety enhancements and incorporate improvements to make the facility more resilient to various hazards including flooding and fire, as well as post-sandy rehabilitation of major tunnel components. Post Sandy restoration of the electrical and communication systems was recommended, as well as structural repairs and finish replacements. as well as to incorporate a full Tunnel Modernization and Improvements to create a safer environment for the traveling public. Rehabilitation included replacement of ceiling veneer with a new fire protective board, hardening of support systems, replacement of the safety walk, replacement of the curbs and gutters, replacement and targeted upgrade of fire standpipe system components, and replacement of electrical and communication systems to modern standards. In addition, European tunnel egress safety standards were studied and incorporated into the new design to add emergency egress lighting and signage in the tunnel, as well as a modern VMS system to enhance traffic safety.
Biography: Mr. Deerkoski graduated from Manhattan College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering. He has 33 years of experience and is a Vice President and is the Design Build Practice Leader for AECOM’s NY Metro Region. Mr. Deerkoski has extensive experience in the design, inspection, evaluation and construction engineering for major highway and railroad bridges, tunnels, and structures for both public and private clients.