NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of the most devastating storm to hit New York City, one that shut the lights in downtown Manhattan and crippled public transportation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo posed a tough question: How do we redesign the system to make sure this doesn't happen again?
It's a question that needs to be answered so the city can survive extreme weather patterns in the future, and in the face of continual growth.
"As the city tries to support sustainable, dense development for an ever-growing population, this is something that has to be examined," said Jay Simson, President of American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York).
The design and construction industry stands ready to assist New York and help the city and its residents get back on course, while looking ahead to make sure everyone is prepared for future weather events.
United States Sen. Charles Schumer said during a press conference on Staten Island, that Sandy is the worst natural disaster to hit New York, and one of the five worst to hit the United States.
"We have to rebuild with an eye on the future," said Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the General Contractors Association of New York (GCA). "Officials are on the right track in their thinking. We need a mix of protective barriers and we have to build with flood-proof materials."
Design is another aspect that has to be considered, and for a city as big as New York, change will not come overnight.
"Change is never easy. But our infrastructure is our lifeline. It's a matter of all of us coming together, using our expertise," said Simson.
In the mean time, member firms from ACEC New York and GCA are already working in emergency capacities to ensure the fastest and safest resumption of necessary services to help everyone affected by Sandy.
"The safety and well-being of our fellow citizens is the most important thing to address right now," Simson and Richardson said. "We have to make plans for the future. But right now, we have to deal what is in front of us."
Richardson said New Yorkers are tough and she has no doubt that the design and construction community will come together with new ideas to protect our infrastructure.
"In the end? We'll have a better New York. We're New York City; nothing can stop us."
ACEC New York is the state's premier organization for consulting engineering firms, representing 280 companies and over 20,000 employees in New York, www.acecny.org.
GCA represents New York City's unionized heavy civil and public works infrastructure general contractors, http://www.gcany.org/
SOURCE American Council of Engineering Companies of New York