TDS 3000 Series empowers art at Newark electric station

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Hurricane Sandy took its toll on many things, including Newark’s grid reliability.

PSEG decided to invest $277 million into a new switching station in the Fairmont Heights neighborhood of Newark to improve the city’s grid reliability after Hurricane Sandy.

Switching stations re-route electricity to backup lines in case of failure. So if the main distribution station for a city is down, the neighborhood can receive power from a different direction. Bypassing damaged lines, towers and stations, switching stations provide great protection against natural disasters.

There was just one problem: electrical stations are ugly, and nobody wanted the new plant in a residential area.

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The company turned public outcry into an opportunity to give back to the community, working with residents, artists and architect David Adjaye to meld the industrial structure into the surrounding neighborhood.

Contractors erected an art wall around the 177,000-square-foot station that culminates in a concrete pavilion where two rows of towering red columns direct the eye toward a colorful art installation.

While the eye runs to the artwork, the floor itself slopes away from the building to a nondescript fiberglass trench drain system.

The 3000 Series ™ whisks away a courtyard’s worth of water during rainfall, leaving the pavilion and surrounding green space protected. Walking space remains clear of puddles and the landscaping won’t be washed away into the street.

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A close look at a high volume drain: 3000 Series with fiberglass bar grates

The 56-foot run of drain is narrow but deep enough to ensure fast drainage to a storm sewer.

Stainless edging protects the system from environmental corrosives like rock salt. That protection, along with fiberglass grates, means 3000 Series ™ won’t develop attention-grabbing surface rust.

Doing its job out of sight, the 3000 Series ™ by Trench Drain Systems is a crucial piece of the project, protecting the public space so visitors can focus on the art and architecture instead of where they’re stepping.

TDS also has a variety of decorative grates to transform trench drains into artistic pieces in their own right. Visit their site at to see all of your grating patterns and colors options, both large and small.

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