When the New York State Department of Transportation asked us to develop and evaluate alternatives to Westway, a controversial roadway project that was to replace the deteriorated West Side Highway, we had no way of knowing the project would develop more turns and twists than a novel. Initially, our efforts were focused on assisting our client to come up with a viable solution that would replace the deteriorated roadway with something the community would be able to embrace. Conducting an extensive community outreach program, we developed a design solution that embraced a landscaped boulevard, which integrated the roadway within the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood.
Involved in every stage and aspect of the project, from concept to preliminary design to consultant coordination of the roadway segments, we were watching the vision turn into reality when the unthinkable happened and the lower portion of the roadway was destroyed on 9/11. Anxious to support our community and our client, we went right back to work, initially to provide emergency work for the interim roadway, and later to work with the state and help them fulfill a new vision for lower Manhattan that created an at-grade boulevard with plenty of urban space.