NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino cut the ribbon to officially open the $250 million New Rochelle Water Resource Recovery Facility, the largest public works project in Westchester History.
Also making remarks were Thomas Lauro, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Facilities, Dr. Rengachari Nivas, President, Savin Engineers and Mike Ryan, President, Yonkers Contracting Company.
Representing New Rochelle was Mayor Noam Bramson, and County Legislators Jim Maisano and Sheila Marcotte.
Astorino announced the completion of the project to upgrade theNew Rochelle Water Resource Recovery Facility, work required under a Federal mandate to lower the amount of nitrogen pumped into Long Island Sound.
"This new facility will reduce nitrogen emissions by 87%", said Astorino, while praising the engineers from Savin for exceeding the required nitrogen reduction at less than half the cost projected 10 years ago.
“Despite the complexity of the project to meet new environmental standards and improve water quality, our engineers’ consortium and contractor completed a state-of-the-art solution that was both on time and under budget,” Astorino said. “The upgrades to the New Rochelle WRRF, with improvements to every process in the plant, mean a 50 percent larger wastewater capacity for New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Pelham, plus a substantially cleaner Long Island Sound.”
Dr. Rengachari Nivas, president of Savin Engineers, the lead designer for the engineers’ consortium, said the project saved taxpayers nearly $300 million from the original plan while delivering a first of its kind wastewater treatment operation.
“We were able to exceed expectations, even of our own design and projections, with a nearly 90 percent reduction of nitrogen discharge into the Long Island Sound,” Dr. Nivas said.
Mike Ryan, president of Yonkers Contracting Company, applauded the effort and expertise of the project management team and hundreds of construction workers on the project.
“Yonkers Contracting is proud and pleased to have completed such a complex and massive project for the county of Westchester,” Ryan said. “This project is particularly rewarding because the facility provides fresh quality water to Long Island Sound.”
In June, the engineers’ consortium that designed the upgrades, including Savin Engineers, P.C., Arcadis, CDM Smith, and GHD, was awarded “Project of the Year” by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.
The New Rochelle WRRF Improvement Project consisted of upgrades to every process to meet new permitting requirements.
As a result of the project, a new two-stage biological aerated filtration system has reduced nitrogen discharge to the Long Island Sound by nearly 87 percent, from 2,000 pounds per day to approximately 250 pounds per day. The project also includes Ultra Violet light disinfection systems that replaced chlorine disinfection, and upgrades to the headworks and secondary treatment system to increase the plant’s capacity from 13.6 MGD to 20.6 MGD, a 51 percent improvement.
Over the last five years, Westchester County has put nearly $1 billion to work on capital projects, creating nearly 11,000 construction jobs. Under the current capital plan passed as part of the 2016 budget, Westchester will spend another $1 billion over the next five years, creating nearly 11,000 more jobs.
As part of the ribbon cutting ceremony, Commissioner Thomas Lauro, Department of Environmental Facilities, dedicated a bench outside the new Process Control Building to the memory of Louise Doyle, a longtime county employee who passed away in 2015.