E-news for the Construction Division June 2009

Statewide Group to Honor Trans-Hudson Tunnel Project, NYC Design & Construction Chief

A commuter-rail tunnel project connecting New York and New Jersey and a key player in New York City’s infrastructure renaissance are to be honored in June by the Professional Engineers in Construction, a division of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.  

The recipients will be recognized at the NYSSPE’s Annual Conference, June 4-6 at the Hilton Pearl River in Pearl River, N.Y.

PEC’s Construction Project of the Year will be awarded to Access to the Region’s Core, a passenger-rail tunnel to be built under the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey. Also known as the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel (THE Tunnel), the project will significantly upgrade century-old infrastructure and double commuter-rail capacity between the two neighboring states. The project includes the construction of two new tracks in the Meadowlands, two new single-track tunnels under the Hudson River and an expansion of Penn Station New York under 34th Street, including direct connections to NYC subways at 8th, 7th, and 6th avenues, as well as PATH.

Tom Schulze, project director and Richard Roberts, chief planner of New Jersey Transit, and Francis J. Lombardi, P.E., Chief Engineer of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey will accept the award on behalf of their agencies, which are jointly constructing the project. The Federal Transit Administration recently rated THE Tunnel among the best projects in the nation, which positions the project for a significant federal funding commitment.

“The New York metropolitan region’s infrastructure has been lagging very much behind pubic need, and this project responds to that pressing need by offering a creative engineering solution and new construction design” says NYSSPE/PEC Chair Kaspal Thumma. “This major effort involves a consortium of some 30 design firms and 8 construction management firms in the New York City metropolitan region, including all of the largest ones.” The project designers must carefully build around existing building foundations, water mains, sewers, electrical lines, a myriad of subway tunnels, as well as under the Hudson river.  Additionally, the geology of the area surrounding the new station precludes shallow station elevations.

David J. Burney, commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), is this year’s recipient of the PEC Construction Professional of the Year. Burney, the first architect to head that agency, is being cited in part for his leadership in overseeing significant construction projects in a public agency involved in design and construction. DDC oversees capital projects for 22 client agencies in New York City, including the fire, police, and cultural affairs departments with a budget of over $5 billion. It also performs urban infrastructure work, such as converting swamplands into a park in Staten Island, as part of the Blue Belt project and the recently completed renovation of Columbus Circle in Manhattan.  Under the leadership of Burney, DDC has adopted innovative engineering solutions to construction in urban settings, such as incorporating trenchless technology in road work and employing sustainable design principles in designing and building in a watershed area.

DDC’s past and current capital projects include the new NYC Office of Emergency Management Headquarters, the city's first "green" agency headquarters, expansion of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, expanding the New York Hall of Science in Queens, creating a children’s discovery center at the Queens Public Library, and the restoration and renovation of the Bronx Zoo’s Lion House.  Other DDC’s current capital projects include slip-lining of the existing 100+ yrs old Madison Ave 48" main; the new NYPD Police Academy; and the restoration, expansion, and modernization of their Central Park Precinct Station House. 

David Burney is also the architect of Mayor Bloomberg's visionary Design & Construction Excellence Program, with a mandate to change the paradigm of the public building construction process and elevate design and construction standards citywide. Prior to joining the DDC, Burney spent 13 years as director of design and capital improvements for the New York City Housing Authority, where he introduced a number of fresh new building design concepts into areas of the five boroughs lacking in innovative design. 

PEC also will present its Intern of the Year Award to N’nana Oti of Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Oti is being honored for successfully completing a year of volunteer service to the PEC practice division and for exemplary dedication in supporting the profession of construction engineering, with additional recognition from the NYSSPE. 

The PEC is one of four practice divisions of the NYSSPE, which has 2,500 members in 23 chapters across the state.  Dr. James J. Yarmus is the incoming president of the NYSSPE for the 2009-10 term.


Meet NSPE in St.Louis


The 2009 NSPE Annual Meeting will have a new format this year. All education sessions will be held on Sunday, July 19. The day will be filled with numerous networking opportunities, opportunity to earn up to seven professional development hours on issues affecting the engineering profession and NSPE, and even lunch with a guest speaker-all for only $99!

Register today to save! Join your fellow engineers July 15-19 in St. Louis and help NSPE celebrate its 75th anniversary. Visit the NSPE Web site to learn more and to access the registration form.

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Council Begins Development of Code for Green Building

The International Code Council (ICC) announced in April that it plans to create a green building code to regulate commercial structures. The council hopes the new code will become the measuring stick for green building worldwide.

ICC began developing green building standards in the 1970's with the International Energy Conservation Code, which sprang from the oil-shortage crisis of the time. The Green Building Code will be designed to provide criteria for environmentally-conscious construction of traditional and high-performance buildings. 

The council plans for the new code to address the complete carbon footprint of new buildings, including energy efficiency, water efficiency, conservation of materials, and indoor air quality. ICC will get input on the code from a wide variety of officials, architects, and engineers who can help make the code universal.

For the full article, read the June 2009 issue of PE magazine.

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States Are Competing for Billions in Federal Funds for High-Speed Rail Projects

Vice President Joe Biden recently suggested that Florida stands a good chance of securing some of the $8 billion the administration has set aside to develop what it calls a ''world-class'' high-speed passenger rail system.  Currently, there are two possible Florida routes where high-speed rail could be built and sustained: one from Miami to Tampa via Orlando, the other from Miami to Jacksonville via Orlando.

Biden's remarks came as governors and transportation officials from 23 states interested in securing high-speed rail dollars met at the White House with Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. However, Florida faces strong competition from other states, including California, which has been planning a high-speed line from Los Angeles to San Francisco for years. California voters have already approved $9 billion in bond financing to get the project started.

For full article, see
Miami Herald, 6/3/09 [ return to top ]

Get 50% Off NSPE Online Courses

NSPE now has more than 50 archived courses available online at "Shop NSPE." To help you get the most out of this member benefit and to mark the milestone of 50 courses, we are offering you 50% off ALL online courses before July 1. Simply use the discount code EDU50 at "Shop NSPE" and start earning your discounted PDH credits today! [ return to top ]

2008-09 PEC Executive Board

James Goedert, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Nebraska 
Omaha, NE

Immediate Past Chair
Arthur DeWit, P.E., F.NSPE
Baete Forseth HVAC 
Lake Havasu, AZ

David Hunley, P.E.
Connico Inc. 
Burlington, KY

Paul Bakken, P.E.
Utility Engineering Corp. 
Centennial, CO
Northeast Region Vice Chair
Jon Drosendahl, P.E.
Glenshaw, PA
North Central Region Vice Chair
Paul Harmon, P.E.
University of Nebraska 
Lincoln, NE
Southeast Region Vice Chair
James Harper, P.E.
Hillsborough County PWD 
Tampa, FL
Southwest Region Vice Chair
Thomas L. Paxson, P.E., F.NSPE 
Pax-Sun, Inc. 
Lufkin, TX

Central Region Vice Chair
Carl Meglan, P.E.
Meglan Company Inc.
Columbus, OH

Western & Pacific Region Vice Chair
David Shields, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Nebraska 
Henderson, NV

PEC Staff Liaison:
Erin Reyes

PEC Homepage 

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PEC would like to thank all of our 2009 PEC Sustaining Firms for supporting our programs and services.  Visit the PEC Web site for a full listing of PEC Sustaining Firms and/or to download a registration form.

Richard W Rauseo PE Consulting Engineers

George Harms Construction Co

Glynn Geotechnical Engineering

BEC Engineering Inc

Zetlin & DeChiara LLP

Owen Ames Kimball Company

Paric Corporation

Bates Engineers Contractors

Paul J Gallo Contracting Inc

Judy Construction Company

James D Moore Jr PE

Frederick Derr & Company Inc

Stephen A Estrin & Co Inc

EVCO Construction Co Inc

Snyder Electric Co Inc

Harper Industries, Inc

Suberroc Systems SUBSYST

Vratsinas Construction Company

Abriola Co

Metromont Prestress Co

Tamrio Inc

Riverso Assoc Inc

Code Consultants Inc

S Seltzer Construction Corp

Lundy Construction Co Inc

CRD & Associates Inc

J Fletcher Creamer & Son Inc

Statewide Aquastore New England Tank Inc


Capital Project Management Inc

Fred Weber Inc

Project Development Services Inc

Frank Gurney Inc

John N Puder Inc

Brown Construction Services

Calvi Electric Company

Drury South Inc

ABC Paving Co Inc

Veitia Padron Inc

Facchina Construction

Mayberry Electric Inc

The Rubicon Group

LidCo Electrical Contractors Inc

Construction Management Services

Lecon Inc

Construction Industry Advancement Program of NJ (CIAP)


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