Flexible flood prevention barriers


As a response to the massive structural and financial damages to transport infrastructures from hurrican Sandy in 2012, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is installing a variety of flood-prevention systems across its network.

As surface-level subway entrances and stairwells are one of the most vulnerable points and easily allow stormwater to flood into stations and tunnels, ICL Dover, a product engineering firm, has developed 'Flex-Gate'. Flex-Gate is a soft cover that is based on technology and learnings from spacesuit design. It can be installed above entrances and deployed within minutes, thus preventing stormwater to damage transport infrastructure. The flexible barrier is made from layers of coated fabric and a structural Kevlar webbing and, when not in use, sits in a dedicated storage box above the entrance. The installation does not require additional reinforcement, which makes it easy to upgrade existing infrastructure and helps to keep costs down.

Photo credit


Building block contributor

Stephanie Schemel, Arup


  • C4a6d999a6b04524b6ce large


Organisations Involved