Civil Engineering

I just heard that Dave Gorman is leaving Absolute Radio, which means no more Dave Gorman podcast. Booooo!!!

(It also means that Magna Carta Travel and Discount Airfares will never make it onto Fail Lane, and Danielle Ward will never have to figure out what GBOB* means. Sad times indeed.)

But hey, life g0es on. Particularly in New York City.

Somewhat appropriately given the effects of Hurricane/Frankenstorm/Superstorm Sandy I was thinking a few weeks back about how one could go about protecting New York (or at least Manhattan) from sea-level rise – inspired by this particular post on BLDGBLOG.

I eventually decided that the optimum way would be the construction of a number of dams, as follows…

* At the southern end of Arthur Kill at Perth Amboy
* At the northern end of Arthur Kill at Bayway
* Across the Verrazano Narrows
* Across the Hudson River between the George Washington Bridge and Harlem River
* At the northern mouth of the Harlem River
* At the north end of Randalls Island
* Two dams at the south end of Wards Island – blocking the East and Harlem Rivers

Additional to these, levies would need to be raised along the Harlem River.

The idea would be to limit flow into Upper New York Bay to the Hudson, Hackensack and Passiac Rivers. The level of the bay would be controlled by letting water in through the Hudson dam, and pumping it out down Arthur Kill. If flow down the Hudson became too great, it would be diverted through the Harlem river into Long Island Sound.

What’s interesting about this idea is that the level of the bay would be highly controlled, meaning it could easily be lowered by a few metres. This would expose large areas of land for development – once they had been properly dried out and decontaminated from years of pollutants. Sales of the land involved could even make the entire project economically feasible – which it almost certainly isn’t at present 🙂

So that’s the idea. No real point to it, just an idle exploration of the hydrology of New York City that I thought deserved permanent recording before I forget about it and come up with some other crazy idea.

* I don’t know. Figure it out.

2 thoughts on “Civil Engineering”

  1. I didn’t know you listed to Absolute Radio! I was very sad when they made that announcement. Though I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it quite so much since Martin left…

    1. Now, you see, that’s what months of infant-induced sleep-deprivation will do to a person, because you’re the one that recommended the Dave Gorman podcast to me in the first place! 😀

      But yes, Martin’s departure was unfortunate – his songs were one of the best bits of the show. I had finally got used to Michael though, just in time for the show to end 🙁

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