Dutch firm awaits Manhattan water dam decision

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No image availableNL Times

Dutch engineer and advice firm Arcadis and Amsterdam architecture firm One Architecture are going to hear confirmation today that they will build a new levee for Manhattan as a flood protection measure. 

The proposed BIG U-project is a 16 kilometer protective embankment in a U-shape. It will start at 57th Street West via the southern point to 42nd Street East, encircled by parks and walkways between the water and the city where recreational activities can take place when there is no flood risk.

After hurricane Sandy in 2012, teams have been able to sign up to propose projects to prevent another such flood from happening in the future. New York City is very much at risk of flooding again, that risk is 20 times higher today than 170 years ago.

Sandy left the city with billions of dollars in damages, and killed 53 people. Lower Manhattan, where Wall Street is situated, is still vulnerable. The Netherlands has an extensive knowledge of water management solutions, and is a good contender for the project, but competition is stiff.

The idea to make water management projects for Manhattan a competition came from Henk Ovink, a Dutch civil servant who was 'on loan' to the American government for reconstruction after Sandy. The project in New York will be an example for the world.

Mayor De Blasio of New York and minister Donovan of Infrastructure will make the announcement which infrastructural projects get the green lights this afternoon. Sources tell the Telegraaf that the One Architecture and Arcadis project from director Mathijs Bouw is definitely in.

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