RBA Partners With The City of Hoboken for the Redesign of Washington Street

The RBA Group presented the final concept plan for a proposed $14 million “complete street” design for the City of Hoboken’s main street.  RBA’s plan focuses on implementing the priorities identified by the community, local stakeholder groups and key City and agency representatives throughout this year-long design process.  Multimodal transportation, green infrastructure and smart technologies are featured in the plan, and address civic, safety, economic and cultural  goals that preserve and enhance the vitality of this great street.  This collaborative design project also included the involvement of representatives from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), who contributed review comments and input. The City is pursuing funding for the construction of the project through grant monies and local bonds.  Underground utility-related upgrades are already underway as part of scheduled independent efforts, and other related streets projects and a city-wide wayfinding signs program will further complement the plans for Washington Street.

Detailed plans, graphic renderings, and project deliverables are available on the City’s website.


RBA Authors Successful TIGER Grant Application for Waterbury, CT

RBA is proud to announce that the Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) Project has been chosen by FHWA to receive a $14.4 Million TIGER grant. RBA conceived of the project, produced preliminary plans and illustrations and wrote the winning grant application. The City of Waterbury has committed an additional $10 Million in local matching funds for the proposed $24.4 Million dollar multi-modal transportation improvement project. The project will build a new waterfront greenway trail and reconstruct several local streets as active ‘complete’ streets.

For additional information please visit The Governor of Connecticut’s website.

RBA Involved in Rebuilding Rockaways Boardwalk

At a lecture on resilient waterfront design at the Center for Architecture in New York, two projects now in the works show how public spaces can still be created on shorelines, even in the era of the monster storm: the Water Institute Headquarters, Research, and Interpretive Center proposal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by SuperMass Studio; and the Rockaways Boardwalk Reconstruction Plan in Queens, New York, from CH2M HILL, with The RBA Group and WXY. Both use green buffers to protect the shoreline and add biodiversity, but are designed to ensure easy public access.

The challenge, said Jackson Wandres, director of landscape architecture and planning at The RBA Group, was to design a new boardwalk that was not only structurally sound but also maintained the public space and beach access of the old boardwalk. To accomplish this, RBA Group proposed rebuilding the boardwalk along its original route, but raising it up between three and eight feet, as appropriate, to match the height of the Army Corps berms. In essence: “one giant earthwork with a giant public esplanade running along top of it – that’s the public open space we’re creating.”


To read the full article visit:


RBA Works on a Master Plan for Downtown Westport

The results are in and show that Westporters generally agree on the future of downtown.

Of approximately 3,100 responses to the “Your Downtown” online survey, there was a broad consensus in several areas, most significantly, that future downtown plans should strive to maintain its “small-town character,” according to data reported Monday night.

Survey participants also want to see greater focus on the Saugatuck River, including a waterfront park. And, also of importance, is dealing with parking.

For more on this article visit http://www.westport-news.com/news/..

RBA’s Work on Staten Island’s North Shore Public Access Park

Permeable pavers have been a key addition to a different kind of park: the North Shore Public Access Park on the Kill Van Kull, a tidal strait between Staten Island, NY, and Bayonne, NJ.

This waterfront park will transform a former industrial marina into a graceful passive-use park for local residents.

“It definitely was an underutilized piece of open space that needed to be developed as a waterfront park,” says Alex Berryman, RLA, principal landscape architect at The RBA Group, an engineering and landscape architecture firm in Manhattan, who oversaw most of the landscape design.

“The intent was to provide public waterfront access, a place where people could take in the sights of the Bayonne Bridge in the distance while watching the huge container ships glide by on the Kill Van Kull. It’s one of the few areas in the northern part of Staten Island where people can get close to the water.”

Two refurbished channel markers stand at the entrance to the 2.65-acre waterfront park. The park includes a flat recreational lawn, native vegetation, an ADA-accessible perimeter path paved with asphalt and concrete, and two parking lots paved with concrete Unilock Eco-Priora pavers. The edge of the park is fenced off with a semi-transparent grill panel fence to prevent visitors from accessing the abandoned docks and shoreline.

One of the parking lots holds eight cars. The second, a 12-car lot with a turnaround, is on the park grounds and can be gated off and used as a plaza to host public events. The RBA team chose permeable pavers for both parking lots to minimize the impervious surfaces and to mitigate excess runoff. The project complies with the state stormwater requirements, Berryman says.

“The reason we used the Unilock Eco-Priora is because they’re designed for plazas as well as to take the weight of vehicles. The narrow [three-eighths of an inch] gap between them is compatible with pedestrian use, so the surface is very smooth for pedestrians to walk on.”

The funding for the park comes from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, through the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit dedicated to land conservation. The land itself is owned by the New York City Department of Parks, which will maintain the park once construction is complete. The TPL hired The RBA Group to perform both the design and the engineering of the project.

The entire project began in the fall of 2012 and was completed in September 2013.

The RBA team designed the site grading to maintain the existing stormwater surface runoff patterns to the Kill Van Kull, which avoided the need for costly subsurface drainage systems, Berryman says. They also mitigated the effect of the park’s asphalt and concrete paths without adding drainage pipe by designing the aggregate in the parking lots to be at least 14 inches deep.

“The aggregate layer provides space for water storage as well as spreads out the point load,” Berryman says. The paver systems in the two parking lots will be able to store approximately 6,300 cubic feet of runoff.

The general contractor, Fredante Construction Corp. of Cold Spring Harbor, NY, did a very good job installing the paver system, says Sean O’Leary, vice president with Unilock New York Inc.

Crews placed a geotextile drainage mat at the bottom of the excavation to strengthen the sub-base and improve the bearing capacity.

Above that, they placed an 8-inch layer of No. 2 stone, a 4-inch layer of No. 57 stone, then a 1.5- to 2-inch layer of No. 89 stone. They compacted each layer.

They laid a total of 14,000 square feet of the Unilock Eco-Priora permeable pavers with a Series 3000 (exposed aggregate) finish and put No. 8 or No. 9 stone between the pavers.

For maintenance, O’Leary says that sweeping the parking lots twice a year, once after the leaves have fallen and once in the spring, will lift up the particles on top of the pavers and the joints.

“The advantage of this system is if there’s a small amount of localized clogging, runoff is still going to flow through the adjacent and surrounding joints. We see a lot of permeable paver installations with little to no maintenance, and they’re still performing very well. If clogging worsens, you can wait and remove the top half-inch or inch of chip stone and replace the clogged stone with new material. Even with little maintenance, you can still have a new permeable system by replacing the joint stone without ever having to take the pavers out.”

Improvements on the way for Roberto Clemente State Park waterfront

RBA’s landscape architects and engineers have spent over a year designing and creating plans for the proposed renovated waterfront esplanade. In addition to storm protection from the new sea wall, the esplanade will have new rain gardens and bio-swales to capture and treat stormwater runoff. A new decorative sea rail (designed by RBA) will run along the edge of the sea wall providing more park space for bicycling, strolling, and taking in views of the Harlem River. New distinctive pavement, planting, lighting, seating and an amenity strip of permeable pavers will create a visually cohesive rhythm along the entire length of the esplanade, bookended by a viewing platform at the south end, and a new performance plaza at the north end, with other areas of interest in between.

All renderings were produced by RBA.

Read the article posted to the Daily News at:

Alliance for Action Award

On May 1, 2014, The RBA Group was presented with an award by The Alliance for Action in honor of its work efforts on the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Route 35 Restoration Project to rebuild a portion of the State’s shore area infrastructure damaged by Super Storm Sandy. RBA is responsible for a five mile section of Route 35 in Toms River, Lavallette and Brick Township, encompassing about ten miles of roadway, given the dualized nature of this section of roadway (five miles northbound and five miles southbound). This honor was bestowed at The Alliance For Action’s “New Jersey’s Leading Infrastructure Projects” awards ceremony at the PNC Bank Arts Center.

The particular aspect of the project that was recognized by the Alliance pertained to the American Water infrastructure that required replacement/rehabilitation of the water distribution system in advance of the roadway excavation and drainage installation. As part of RBA’s roadway project, extensive coordination with a number of utility companies was required. However, locating, avoiding and/or relocating the water facilities were critical to the progression of the road work, given the emergency nature of the project and the extensiveness of the water facilities. Unlike traditional projects, decisions regarding these utilities were made daily in the field in order to enable the roadway construction contractor to advance the work. RBA’s construction engineering staff facilitated this coordination by its daily presence on site. These efforts are continuing with the project expected to experience a two year construction duration.

The RBA Group is proud to have helped prepare this latest in the collection of bicycle tour guides for NJDOT

To help promote recreation along the New Jersey Shore as towns and businesses are recovering from Superstorm Sandy, NJDOT has released its newest bicycle tour route Explore the Jersey Shore by Bicycle. For more, visit http://www.nj.gov/transportation/commuter/bike/tours.shtm and nj.com

RBA’s Award Winning Design of the Newly Rebuilt Hamilton Avenue Asphalt Plant

DOT issues Press Release and opens RBA award-winning design for Hamilton Avenue Asphalt Plant; greatly increasing NYCDOT’s capacity to repair New York City streets. For more visit http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/220-14/mayor-de-blasio-opens-newly-rebuilt-hamilton-avenue-asphalt-plant-helping-city-resurface-1-000/#/0