WSP has been involved in the design of several recent U.S. projects that incorporate surface water improvements.
In 2019, work was completed on Vancouver Waterfront Park in Washington, a park built on the site of a former industrial paper mill that provided public access to the waterfront for the first time in 75 years. The 7.3-acre park features a scenic pier, plazas, extension of a public trail, performance area and an urban beach along nearly 2,500 feet of riverfront. It is the centerpiece of the City of Vancouver’s $1 billion waterfront revitalization program, reconnecting the city to the banks of the Columbia River.
WSP has been assisting the City of Los Angeles with their plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River. Taylor Yard River Park is being designed to convert an abandoned railroad freight yard along the Los Angeles River into a 40-acre public park. It is the first major project of the city’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, which envisions a connected series of green spaces along an 11-mile corridor of the river throughout the city. Drennan described Taylor Yard River Park as the “crown jewel of this revitalization plan.”
As part of the design work on the Alaskan Viaduct Waterfront Replacement program in Seattle,, WSP worked with the Washington State Department of Transportation on a major redevelopment of waterfront areas that had been cut off from the public since the construction of the Alaskan Viaduct in 1953. Now with the viaduct replaced with a downtown tunnel and removed from the waterfront, WSP is part of the team designing Waterfront Seattle, a program that is creating lively public space, while also addressing stormwater management needs in the area.
The San Diego County Green Streets technical guidance document was created in 2018 to assist developers and county staff in understanding what is expected, what may be permitted, and what can be approved for redevelopment or retrofitting of existing paved roads, streets or alleys. By establishing standard designs for over 50 stormwater capture best management practices, it provided San Diego County with an opportunity to manage potentially significant storm water and pollutant sources with innovative treatment systems.
“Restoring urban waterways provides both ecological function and amenities for communities, as does the creation of more resilient coastlines and waterfronts,” Drennan said.
It was an opportunity to work on environmentally impactful projects like these that inspired Drennan to join the firm in 2016.
“I was inspired to join WSP because of their vision and commitment to create the cities of the future,” Drennan said. “I am passionate about making a difference in my community and the world and WSP provides me the resources, tools and support to make that happen.”