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Press Release

NYCEDC and ORR Release Updated Waterfront Inspection Guidelines Manual

Oct 14 2016

Guidelines outline standard operating procedures for inspecting City-owned coastal and waterfront assets

First update to manual since initial publication in 1999

NEW YORK, NY—The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR) today released a newly updated Citywide Waterfront Inspection Guidelines Manual, a valuable resource that outlines standard operating procedures for inspecting City-owned coastal and waterfront assets. The updated manual, originally published in 1999, includes refined criteria, new standards to reflect current environmental conditions and includes new soft infrastructure asset types such as marshes. The updated waterfront inspection guidelines manual can be read here.

Through a contractual partnership with the Department of Small Business Services (DSBS), NYCEDC developed the Waterfront Inspections Guidelines Manual in 1999 to assist engineering consultants by establishing operating procedures for inspecting City-owned coastal and waterfront assets. The manual standardizes waterfront inspections and deterioration curves, aides in the determination of structures’ adequacy for current and future use and provides guidelines for capital cost estimates used for long-term planning.

“While Hurricane Sandy vividly demonstrated the City’s vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise, we are continuing to aggressively strengthen our coastal defenses,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “The updated waterfront inspection manual provides essential guidance for the City as we continue to proactively manage our waterfront assets and protect our 520 miles of coastline against the impacts of climate change.”

“New York City’s waterfront is one of our greatest natural assets and is now challenged by the threats we face from climate change and sea level rise,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and the Chief Resilience Officer in the NYC Mayor’s Office. “Today’s release of an updated waterfront inspection guidelines manual will provide a consistent approach to managing our coastal infrastructure and will help the City to ensure that communities, businesses, and open spaces along the city’s coastline are better protected from the risks of climate change. Delivering on this commitment made in our OneNYC plan is already helping us to build a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable city.”

The update also outlines shoreline/beach and wetlands inspection guidelines, which are considered soft infrastructure assets. These types of shoreline include beaches, dunes, wetlands, and marine forest, among others. Although these shorelines types are considered soft, they play a critical role when it comes to resiliency.

The City’s modernized waterfront inspection guidelines include revised waterfront structure sections, new standardized cost estimates, and new and revised inspection types outlined below:

New inspection types:

  • Baseline
  • Construction
  • Post-Construction
  • Post-Event
  • Engineering

Revised inspection types:

  • Routine
  • Rapid
  • Design

The revised manual is based on industry standards from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the United States Navy and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The project was funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

In 2013 the City introduced the first comprehensive coastal protection plan to protect against the impacts of climate change in A Stronger, More Resilient New York. The report called to implement citywide waterfront inspections to better manage the City’s waterfront and coastal assets.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.