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2019 NYSATE STATEWIDE CONFERENCE –  Technical Tours Summaries

All tours will gather in the hotel’s front entrance lobby

Please arrive AT LEAST 5 minutes prior to the tour’s “start time” shown

Yonker’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (Yonkers WWTP) – PDH’s pending

Thursday 1:00 P.M. – 4:45 P.M.   

$25 pp

On a typical day, the Yonkers WWTP treats close to 100 million gallons of waste water from a city with a population of over 500,000 people.   As one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the State, the facility has the capacity of treating up to 300 million gallons per day. Yet, how does the plant thoroughly clean that amount of sewage water before it is discharged into the adjacent Hudson River, typically cleaner and safer than the river water itself?

After a technical presentation on the engineering challenges related to wastewater processing, the group will be given a 1.5-hour, guided tour through the facility where the chronological process used to cleanse wastewater will be explained, and the mechanisms used to the progressively improve the water quality can be seen firsthand.

The Scottish Castle on Pollepel (a.k.a. Bannerman) Island  PDH’s pending

Thursday 12:15 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.   

$35 pp    Limit of 42 people

The Bannerman family business needed a safe and secure warehouse.   Considering that the business involved the purchase and resale of pre-WW I, military surplus, weapons, and ammunition, a warehouse placed on an island in the Hudson River seemed like a logical choice.  In the year 1900, Francis Bannerman purchased Pollepel Island, and the very next year he began construction of a new arsenal and private residence. He personally designed the buildings using “rule-of-thumb guidelines” to create a simulated Scottish Castle, and then let the contractors interpret his designs on their own.  50 years later, the island was vacated when the family business declined. The buildings quickly fell into ruin in just a couple of decades; much of it due to the impulsive design approach used by Francis Bannerman.

Yet, what design and structural changes would Mr. Bannerman have made if the current Building Codes were applied?  During the bus ride to the Beacon boat launch, the group will be given a presentation which addresses that question.  They will then take a scenic, 30-minute boat ride to the island where a 1.5-hour guided tour will follow the pathways that lead around the buildings’ exterior and through the island’s unique gardens.  Essential elements from the presentation will be highlighted and explained. Lunch will be provided.

Grand Central Terminal Tour with a Round-Trip Train Ride –  PDH’s pending

Wednesday 11:55 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.   

$35 pp.     

Grand Central Terminal (GCT) is more than 100 years old, but it is still the hub for all commuter rail lines to New York City (NYC).  The third busiest train station in North America has a distinctive architecture and design, and has been designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

This tour has been developed to give a lasting impression of the “Commute By Train To Grand Central Terminal”.   First, a presentation will be given on the engineering aspects of the “Station’s” unique history, design, construction, and its recent modifications.  Afterwards, the group will board a train to GCS for a 50-minute ride that offers countless scenic views of the Hudson River and NYC.  During the “commute” to GCS, guides will point out a few aspects of the planning and design of the rail line and local stations and answer any questions.  Upon arrival at GCS, they will be given a 1.25-hour, private guided tour that will point out some of the key elements discussed in the presentation.  Afterwards, people can regroup on the next train returning to Tarrytown, or they can decide to return on a later train after enjoying the New York City scene for a while longer.   A shuttle bus will bring them back to the hotel when they return to the Tarrytown train station. Lunch will be provided.

Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Tour –  PDH’s pending

Thursday 8:15 A.M. – 10:45 A.M.   

$20 pp.    Limit of 45 people

The New York State Thruway Authority recently replaced their 3.1-mile long, Hudson River crossing formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge, with a new, twin span bridge that includes an impressive cable-stayed section.  With a project cost close to $4 billion, the new structure is the largest bridge constructed in New York State history and has been named the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

Although the new bridge can easily be seen from the conference hotel, this tour was developed to give a   closer view of key elements along the structure.   First, a presentation will be given on the engineering challenges and accomplishments regarding the design and construction of the new structure, and later, as the bridge is viewed during bus stops at several locations, guides will be available to explain various aspects of the bridge’s planning, design, and construction, and will answer any questions.  

A safety vest or jacket, hard hat, and boots will be required for the field portion of this technical tour.   

West Point’s Fortifications and the Beginning of Civil Engineering Academics   –  3 PDH’s: PE, LA

(This technical tour is being combined with the Excursion Tour)

Wednesday 8:15 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.   

$35 pp

Everyone knows that the West Point Academy has played a critical role in the protection of our country since its earliest years.  But, are you aware that the need for better and stronger fortifications at West Point and throughout the fledgling United States led to the creation of the country’s first and best Civil Engineering school during the first half of the nineteenth century?   During the bus ride to West Point, a presentation will be given on how the Academy’s efforts to improve the cadets’ military engineering knowledge was later enhanced to address the Country’s desire for engineering specialists on large scale, civil projects which would meet the nation’s growing need for commercial transportation access, safety, and reliability.   

Upon arriving at the Academy, a guide will lead the group on a 2-hour bus and walking tour that is enhanced with stories of West Point’s famous history and the contributions by some of the graduates who helped to shape our nation.  Also, the engineering aspects of Revolutionary War fortifications will be viewed first hand along with some of the engineering accomplishments produced during the early years of the Army Corps of Engineers.

After the guided tour, attendees will have the choice of spending the remaining one and a half hours having lunch at MacArthur’s Restaurant in West Point’s historic Thayer Hotel or having lunch at one of the nearby restaurants in town. Attendees who are obtaining PDH credits will visit the West Point Museum prior to having lunch.

A valid US Government issued Photo ID (Driver’s License or permit, passport, or DMV ID) is required for all attendees on this tour. Clarification on the “Type of ID” to be used by each attendee, and if lunch is preferred at MacArther’s Restaurant, will be requested by email about 2 weeks before the tour.

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