One of the biggest challenges involves two locations along the corridor where the streetcar would cross a movable bridge, which presents its own set of environmental and technical issues. Alex Wright, lead engineer for WSP, is leading the conceptual design.
By using a mobile light detection and ranging (lidar) surveying tool along the corridor, the team developed an existing conditions map in less time than traditional surveying methods would have required.
“Because the preferred alignment and its alternatives covered approximately 27 miles of roadway – 16 miles of our preferred route and 11 miles of alternates – a conventional survey could have taken over a year to complete,” Wright said. “This mapping produced a 2D line-work that includes the location of the building lines, curb lines and visible utility evidence where accessible along the routes.”
Another benefit of using lidar technology is that it can be used as a foundation for later design phases.
The team, which consists of WSP’s planning, transit and rail, civil engineering and buildings groups, is currently completing Phase 3, involving the development of the preferred alignment. The next step would be the preparation of the environmental impact statement and related design work. Much is still being evaluated about the ultimate construction of the BQX – including the initial operating segment, delivery mode and financing, and operations – in anticipation of its estimated completion and operation in 2024.
“It is extremely rewarding to be involved with the BQX project, knowing that this could provide a new service to meet the evolving travel demand patterns along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, and to improve transit access to areas that are underserved by existing transit,” Wright said.