Heather Hatfield 2016-08-06 01:52:56
Teamwork is key to delivering the complex $1.4-billion Fulton Street Transit Center and improving the Lower Manhattan transit experience Every day for the last 10-plus years, Uday Durg's team ensures the safety of more than 300,000 people as they transfer, enter and exit his job site. As senior vice president and program executive of Lower Manhattan Projects for the MTA Capital Construction Company, he is responsible for delivering a major new transit center for Lower Manhattan, smoothing out connections and underground passageways that were originally designed not to be connected at all, restoring a building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, and doing it all without disrupting train service to the 11 different lines that tie directly into the heart of the new $i.4-billion Fulton Street Transit Center. "This is heavy construction we are talking about—heavy steel, heavy concrete, heavy demolition—and all of it is going on while our passengers make their way to and from the trains," says Durg. To date, the team's safety record is something to brag about—0.88, well below the 2.2 national average and "the best record in the MTACC," Durg adds. Like all projects in lower Manhattan, this massive one was shaped by the events of September 11, 2001. Historically, the different subway lines were competitors, built cut and cover around 100 years ago by competing companies who had no interest in making it easy for passengers to transfer lines. "There were huge amounts of friction built into the system," says Craig Covil, principal in charge of the project for the prime design consultant, Arup, New York, N.Y. The underground maze from the 2/3 lines over to the R train would confound even the best New Yorker. Arup developed a plan to connect and rehabilitate the 11 lines and stations, culminating with a transit center building on the corner of Broadway and Fulton. In addition, the plan included a restoration of the historic Corbin Building. Early Contracts As schematic design progressed, the team wanted to get construction started, sending a signal to the building community that the project was real, and it was going to move forward. The team got a package out right away, which included adding a new southern entrance to the 4/5 lines and rehabilitating the 2/3 Fulton Street station. The 4/5 lines only had exits at the north end of the platform and the middle. "The last five carriages had to walk all the way up the platform to get out," Covil says. "If there were an issue, it would have been nearly impossible to get people out of the south end of the station." A new southern entrance, constructed by Citnalta Construction Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., eased congestion and reduced risk for future Construction contracts, he adds. As soon as the project got the green light, the design team quickly bid out the next package. Instead of a traditional design-bid-build package, the Dey Street Concourse Structural Box contract was design-build. The team—AECOM of New York and Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Whitestone, N.Y.—won the $i63-million contract. The challenge was to build a tunnel under the existing subway and create an underground passageway along Dey Street between Church Street and Broadway, providing connectivity from the World Trade Center site and PATH station to the Fulton Street Transit Center. The transfer between the 4/5 and the A/C lines takes place at the northernmost corner of the station, Durg says. It is the only transfer point between these lines in lower Manhattan. Shutting the transfer point down during the week was not an option. To create an underpass, all the work was performed on the weekend, starting at 1 a.m. Saturday and ending at 5 a.m. Monday. At that time, all equipment, dirt and workers had to be gone, "like we were never there," says Michael Viggiano, executive vice president and general manager for Skanska USA Civil Northeast. "It was an intensive 51 hours every week." To add to the challenge, soil conditions in lower Manhattan are less than ideal. "The soil is what we call bull's liver," says Michael Attardo, senior vice President of field operations for Skanska. "It's very runny." The team used 200 mini-piles on the project and mini-pile rigs were used to install a 3-ft section at a time. Each pile had to go down 80 ft. It was like building an elevated subway line underground, Durg adds. The Dey Street Concourse Structural Box began in August 2005 and was completed on time in November 2008. As work progressed on Dey Street, and the demolition of existing buildings on the site of the transit center (package 3) was completed, the design team prepared to go out for bid on a monster contract that included all the rest of the work. When bids went out the first time in 2007, only one bid came back and it was double the budget, Durg says. "The problem was the contract mixed together underground work, utility work, restoration and building construction," Covil adds. "It was a mixed bag, and contractors don't like to bid on mixed bags." Regroup The project stalled. The Federal Transit Administration would not fund more than was originally estimated, says Michael Horodniceau, president of the MTACC. As the team re-thought the strategy for going to market, the global economic meltdown happened. Nothing moved until 2009 when the MTACC was able to secure more than $400 million in federal stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because the project was "shovel ready." The project started up again, but this time, the design team broke up the massive contract into six more manageable packages: • Transit center foundations (4a) • A/C mezzanine and J/M/Z vertical circulation (4b) • 4/5 station rehabilitation and Dey Street head house (4c/d) • Dey Street and R/W underpass finishes (4e) • Transit center building (4f) • Corbin Building restoration (4g) When the foundation work began, Horodniceau was sweating it out. This is the contract that unnerved him the most. The 30-ftdeep excavation went far below the foundations of the adjacent structures and the water table. The historic Corbin Building was just 2 ft away from the excavation. Underpinning and integrity ties were necessary to control movement of buildings, train stations or lines, and new secant pile walls were used to keep the water back so work could proceed. "You could actually see the Corbin Building move side to side every time we went down," Horodniceau says. "It was scary and at the same time, exciting." Durg says the building was hooked up to an EKG monitoring system so that every time it moved, the project team members were notified on their Blackberry phones. "We'd stop work, meet and figure out what to do next," he says. "All of us had a lot of sleepless nights." Once the underpinning was complete, Skanska had to break through the 20-ftdeep Corbin Building foundation to make a support structure for a new escalator. Most of the work was performed by hand. Skanska USA Civil Northeast proceeded to dig out 40,000 cu yd Of dirt. To speed removal, Skanska built a 100-ft x 50-ft "perch" inside the excavation pit. "All the trucks and deliveries would come onto the perch inside the enclosed area, load off or on and then leave," Viggiano says. "Once the trucks were inside, there was no more inconvenience to the public. Without the perch, deliveries would have shut down two lanes of traffic and the lift offs would have been awkward." The next package was the A/C mezzanine and the J/M/Z vertical circulation. Skanska USA Civil Northeast also won this contract. "The challenge was to perform the work without disrupting travel of the public who use the series of underground ramps to get from one line to another," Attardo says. "During rush hour, it is very crowded. We had to do the work and not divert or slow down the flow of people, so sequencing and staging of the work was very important." By working closely with the MTA on scheduling and track outages, Skanska was able to complete the platform work in one year instead of three. WDF, New York, N.Y., won the $6o-million contract to rehabilitate the historic 4/5 station and the Dey Street head house. Structural work involves removing segments of the northbound platform wall to provide an additional 120 ft of access for customers. Construction was staged in order to preserve pieces of the historic northbound platform wall which will remain part of the finished station. When the $i6-million R/W cortlandt St. station reopened before September 11 ceremonies last year, the first passengers got off the first train and started clapping. It was the first time the southbound station had been opened since before September 11, 2001. "It made me feel like a million bucks," Viggiano from Skanska says. Skanska also completed the $i8-million Dey St. Concourse with high-end finishes and state-of-the-art technology. "It's the corridor of the future for the MTA," Attardo adds. Coordination With different contractors and different drawings, the design team had to ensure that in the end, the project would look like one project, not eight. "Each contract had to be able to be competitively bid, but the finishes needed to be consistent throughout the project," says Zak Kostura, senior structural engineer for Arup. "It took some finesse on the part of the MTA, the construction manager (a joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Lend Lease) and the contractors to ensure coordination took place." In some cases, the first contractor to procure was able to set the boundaries for the subsequent contracts, or procure the total quantity for all contracts. For the granite flooring, contractors were given a palette and eight criteria to meet so that it was the same texture and color. "The finesse was to give as much as you take away," says Kostura. With different contractors and different drawings, it all had to fit together around the edges, says Kristina Moores, senior mechanical engineer for Arup. "We had to decide what was the beginning of one package and the end of another, which was fun for us to go in and out of packages and offer consistency to the center as a whole." The Transit Center The crown jewel of the Fulton Street Transit Center project is the center itself on Fulton Street and Broadway. "Some say we are spending a lot of money on this project, but I say no. We need to build for future generations, and only they can judge what we did," Horodniceau says. "Rarely do you get the opportunity to build something new, and when you do, it should be a statement of who you are and what you represent. This building does that." Grimshaw Architects, New York, N. Y., was selected by the MTA to join the Arup team as design architect for the glass and steel center. Grimshaw designed an atrium civic space with an oculus positioned at a 22.5-degree tilt to maximize daylight, even during the winter months. Grimshaw teamed with artist James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, N.Y., and incorporated the artist's formative art into the structure, a cable net that supports an inner skin of filigree metal reflector panels. "It's like a cascading lampshade," says Vincent Chang, Grimshaw's principal in charge of the project. The cable net is eight stories tall and holds in place 950 aluminum diamondshaped panels," says Kostura. The diffused light from the panels reflects the light down to the deepest corners of the center. When complete, the 300,000 passengers who ride through, transfer over, get on or get off, will find seamless movement from the lower levels of the center to the street or to their transfer points. "The design allows daylight to penetrate all the way through the system down to the lower concourse and down to the 4/5 platform," Chang says. In addition, the glass envelope of the building allows full visibility from the interior out to the sidewalk. Once inside, kiosks and information centers will tell visitors everything from system delays and where to find a quick cup of coffee. This summer, the MTA will be issuing an RFP to find a master lease to maintain the center, and lease out 70,000 sq ft of retail space. "Need turns out to be the mother of all things, and we need money," Horodniceau says. The original program was to create back office space in the center, but the program was revamped to include retail shops. "This isn't just another station," Horodniceau says. "We are turning it into a great public space." The joint venture team of Plaza Construction, New York, N.Y., and Schiavone Construction, Secaucus, N.J., won the $i76-million bid to build the center in 2010. The team was a perfect match—bringing together Plaza's building construction expertise with Schiavone's strength in transit work. The team is on track to deliver the project on schedule in May 2014. "The MTA did a lot of preplanning and they did an excellent job managing the project," says Allen Kasden, principal in charge of the project for Plaza. The toughest challenge for the team is managing the traveling public. "We cannot interfere with travel and must keep the traveler safe during construction," Kasden adds. A temporary passageway right through the site allows people access to the Fulton Street 4/5 station. Schiavone's experience working with the MTA expedited the administration of the contract, says Michael Goldstein, project executive for Schiavone. Since the center is more of a building project that connects to transit, the firm had to adjust from its normal procedures. "This is the first time we didn't self perform the concrete and steel, and that was a departure for us. It was hard to stand aside and let a subcontractor handle that part of the job for us, but the subcontractors (Island Concrete and STS Steel) did a great job," he adds. "We got the right people to do the right job. " The Corbin Building The center will connect to the historic Corbin Building right next door. Originally, the brick, stone and terra cotta building was targeted for demolition, but it was placed on the National List of Historic Landmarks before that could happen, which was "absolutely the right decision," says Covil from Arup. It is historically significant because in 1889 it was the tallest building in New York and it celebrates some unique structural and architectural features such as the first New York application of architect Rafael Guastavino's tile system in the vaulted ceilings. Fast forward to modern day and the building was abandoned and in complete disrepair, says Ian Buckley, associate in charge of the Corbin Building restoration for Arup. It needed seismic stability and additional egress just to bring it up to code. Page Ayers Cowley Architects, New York, NY., was added to the design team as historic preservationist and the team went to work. The Corbin Building required lateral reinforcement due to the penetrations from the escalator and new egress. A cellular concrete infill combined with a normal weight beam encasement and new lightweight floor slabs produced a stronger diaphragm. During construction, crews from Judlau Contracting, New York, N.Y., the contractor that won the $6o-million bid for the project, unearthed an original Otis elevator cage from the late 1880s that will be restored and reused. They also found a cast iron boiler in the basement and even 100-year-old newspapers. Once the building was stabilized, other restoration work could begin. The team restored the cast iron staircase, elevators and wood windows. The terra cotta faqade with wrought iron beams and cast iron columns is being cleaned and restored to its original color, red. "When we started the project, we thought all the cast iron elements were painted black, but in our investigation we discovered that the original color was actually a fantastic red," Buckley says. When complete at the end of this year, the historic structure will have modern building systems and be ready for the next century. Indeed the overarching theme for the project is "stay current," Kostura says. All stations will feature digital advertising, signage, displays and maps. A monumental digital panel will be installed under the oculus, which the MTA is hoping will become like the clock in Grand Central Station, a meeting place and destination. Ordering the display technology will be the last item on the team's punch list so that the most stateof- the-art s}'stems can be utilized. And in the end, the entire $i.4-billion complex will apply for a LEED Silver accreditation, which is difficult to achieve considering all the different project types, says Adam Friedberg, senior sustainability consultant from Arup. "The certification is combined for the entire site, so we will be very pleased if we achieve Silver." In May 2014, the entire complex will be complete, and Durg's "dream job" will become a reality. "There have been a lot of hard, long days of work, but for me, it is most satisfying to have been involved from the initial scope to the deliver}' of this project. It is my American dream come true."
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