July 2014

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PS&S Newsletter July 2014
From the Corner Office

From the Corner Office

By Anthony Sartor, CEO, and John Sartor, President and COO

When you’re taking a stroll this summer along a scenic Hudson River walkway or the Seaside Heights boardwalk, or spending leisure time in one of the many local parks throughout New Jersey and New York, chances are you’re making a personal connection to PS&S.

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Our firm has been instrumental in designing and engineering some of the most appealing parks and recreation facilities throughout the region. These projects are the product of the seamless integration of our Building and Land groups in environmental reconnaissance and permitting, land survey and geotechnical mapping, landscape design and civil engineering, as well as structural and utility engineering.

We bring a multi-disciplined approach to all of these efforts. As a result, PS&S has become synonymous with the creation of attractive public structures, spaces and parks.

This issue of our newsletter highlights some of the parks and recreation projects that have distinguished the firm over the years. First, we profile Executive Vice President Todd Heacock, the subject of our ‘Focus On’ feature. Todd is a veteran of PS&S with more than 30 years with the firm. He heads the Building Group, and his story recalls some of the memorable projects that have defined his career.

Our Case in Point revolves around a sustained record of excellence in designing and developing a long list of projects as part of the ongoing Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment, from Jersey City to just south of the George Washington Bridge.

We’ve welcomed the opportunity to take old, blighted public structures and spaces and convert them to something vital to the community. It’s one of our most important service offerings, and a source of pride and commitment for our team of dedicated engineers and architects.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at asartor@psands.com, or John Sartor at jsartor@psands.com

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Focus On: Todd Heacock

As Executive Vice President in charge of the PS&S Building Group, Todd Heacock has seen his share of memorable riverfront and shoreline projects go from conception to completion over the years.

The Building Group, composed of architectural, structural and geotechnical personnel as well as MEP engineers, has played critical roles in casino design and construction in Atlantic City, renovations of Jersey Shore boardwalks, and numerous creative design and engineering projects along the Hudson River. It has worked effectively with the Land Group to provide a broad, multi-disciplined service capability to clients across all aspects of design and engineering, including civil engineering, permitting and survey work.

Focus on Todd Heacock

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“For the engineers and architects working on these kinds of projects, there is a kind of personal connection and a sense of satisfaction,” Heacock said.

One area that’s benefitted from sustained high-quality engineering and restorative work is the Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment project. In addition to that redevelopment effort, the firm has been instrumental in rehabilitating other decrepit structures and facilities along the riverfront. In Hoboken, the PS&S team helped transform two neglected landmarks – Pier A and Pier C, north of the waterfront PATH station – into visually appealing recreational centers for the community.

Heacock said the redesign of Pier C, in particular, incorporated an innovative approach. It called for transforming a structure that had always jutted from land directly into the Hudson River into a facility that would now stand parallel to the coast. As a result, it made the permitting process more complicated, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially expressed concerns about a structural change of such significance.

While the new facility would be more user-friendly, there were questions about how to preserve and maintain environmental safeguards. PS&S worked closely with the Army Corps to devise plans meeting all environmental and structural needs and lead to a new recreational asset that would be more attractive to tourists and the community.

“Ultimately, the Army Corps was happy, the client (City of Hoboken) was happy, and the public was happy,” he said. “We made it more functional, provided increased recreational value and preserved that beautiful view of Manhattan.”

Heacock has been involved in important public engineering projects since joining PS&S in 1983. A native of Bricktown, N.J. Heacock attended Rutgers University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and then earned a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.

One of his first big projects after joining the firm was also one of the biggest construction projects under way at the time on the East Coast: the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Heacock spent nearly four years as a member of the engineering team.

That professional assignment also involved rebuilding the city’s famous Steel Pier, which had fallen into disrepair. PS&S was hired to restore the pier as part of the Taj Mahal contract, and designed a replacement pier built of concrete that pushed about 1,000 feet into the Atlantic. It faced a series of structural challenges, including working around strong waves and water pressure.

“You don’t get to design very many ocean piers these days,” Heacock said. “That was a tremendous structural and geotechnical effort, a lot of coordinated effort.”

For more information on PS&S Building Group projects, contact Todd Heacock at theacock@psands.com

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Case in Point: Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment

Case in Point: Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment

It’s commonly known as New Jersey’s “Gold Coast” – and PS&S has played an integral role in turning a long-neglected, dilapidated stretch of Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey from public eyesores into public landmarks.

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Through their work in developing attractive and user-friendly public walkways, parks, marinas and other facilities – from Jersey City north to the George Washington Bridge – PS&S engineers have made an invaluable contribution to some of the state’s most important development projects.

“When you walk along the waterfront today and see how it’s changed, it’s gratifying to know that we were a part of it,” said Patricia A. Ruskan, a PS&S associate principal involved in many of the key riverfront redevelopment projects.

PS&S has been a part of the rehabilitative process since the early 1980s, when builder Arthur Imperatore spearheaded a campaign to transform the waterfront. The firm’s role in providing essential civil engineering, environmental permitting and architectural services has been extensive, concentrating among other projects on Port Imperial North and South, the development of Weehawken Park, the Port Imperial Marina and a number of private residential facilities.

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