Restoration of Historic Corbin Building

Rehabilitation of the Culver Line Viaduct Phase II

Henry Hudson Bridge Lower Level Deck Replacement

72nd Street Station Fit-out

Dallas County, SH 121

Harris County US 290 Segment 4

Restoration of Historic Corbin Building

In order to create a modern subway interchange in Lower Manhattan, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) first had to contend with an exquisite antique, one that stood eight stories tall.

Ten years ago, the dilapidated Corbin Building completed, in 1889, at Broadway and John Street, seemed destined for demolition. It was interfering with the Authority’s planned Fulton Street Transit Center, intended to impose order on the chaotic convergence of subway lines at Fulton Street, thereby helping downtown recover from the 2001 terrorist attack.

Mcn Russia Contracting was the general contractor for this project, which involved the restoration and repair of several exterior aspects of this historic building, including repair of the brick and terra cotta facade, cleaning and re-pointing masonry, removal, repair and select replacement and reinstallation of cast iron facade elements, wood windows, replacement of the roof and reconstruction of two pyramidal roof towers. Additional updates included installing new storefronts; new interior, modifications to the floor slab and new flooring; conservation efforts including cleaning of the existing open stair case; complete new mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems and fixtures; replacement of two existing elevators; and installation of two new escalators. Key improvements and benefits included structural building reinforcement and modernizing the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system with integrated instruments and controls.

Benefits for society

The Corbin Building was added to the United State Government’s National Register of Historic Places, in December 2003; therefore, any work on it requires special care and attention. When originally constructed in 1888-89, the building was the tallest building in New York City for a short duration. The facade is composed of ornamental terracotta, cast iron, and brownstone, while the interior features Guastavino arch ceilings, elaborate mahogany window trim and a decorative curved main staircase.

The inside of the building contains a semicircular stairwell, which is open to daylight. One of the most complex and detailed items of work was the historic staircase. The treads were originally made of solid purple slate, the rails of copper plated cast-iron, and the handrail of curved mahogany. The contract required that the replica parts be exact. Adding to the project’s complexity, the curved wooden handrail was refurbished in place. The New York Times praised the restoration and highlighted the building’s “architectural delights” which make it an “ornament” in downtown Manhattan. The MTA received the coveted Lucy G. Moses award, presented by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, for the project. Today, the historic Corbin Building once again stands tall and proud in Lower Manhattan, one of the most significant and visited districts in the world.

Rehabilitation of the Culver Line Viaduct Phase II

The Culver Line Viaduct, located in Brooklyn, between the tunnel opening of Carroll Street Station and the tunnel opening south of the Fourth Avenue Station, was built in the 1930s. The goal of this project was to rehabilitate the concrete viaduct deck including removing existing track, performing direct current (DC) power and signal work, and installing cables within the viaduct limit to permit repair and rehabilitation of the existing concrete deck.

Mcn Russia Contracting was the general contractor for the project. The work entailed removing and replacing existing waterproofing, protection concrete, and the deteriorated protective netting from the underside of the concrete deck. Upon starting the work, it quickly became apparent that the deterioration of the concrete structure was far greater than anticipated, which posed a scheduling risk because new waterproofing could not be installed until the structure was rebuilt. Some areas of the viaduct were so badly deteriorated that they presented an immediate safety concern for the riding public and surrounding buildings. Mcn Russia worked together with the owner to expedite the critical repairs, without major disruption to train service.

The work also included the replacement of ballasted track with low vibration track (LVT) using LVT resilient concrete blocks. There was also a significant amount of signal work, including the replacement of signal switches, DC work, providing new turn outs between tracks B3 and B4, converting track switches from 25 N/S to diamond cross over (new interlocking), and installing new communication based train control (CBTC) ready signal switches within the viaduct limit. A new signal relay room was constructed to support the addition of the interlocking and CBTC signal. A new central instrument room was also built.

Structural repairs to the deck first required removal of existing tracks, traction power system, signal system, and waterproofing. Most challenging was the requirement that these removals had to be accomplished while train service remained in operation on adjacent tracks. In addition, the structure had protective netting underneath and a mesh pinned to the parapet and walls to protect the public from falling debris. What made this a particularly challenging task was that most of the netting was over occupied buildings and active city streets, and as high as 100 feet above street level. The mesh on the outside of the parapet that was also used to protect the public needed to be removed to an elevation of 5 feet from the top. This was necessary to make the concrete repairs and apply a protective structural fiberglass coating. This was done on the outside of the structure that wrapped over the top of the wall to secure the parapet and prevent any more spalls or debris from falling and prolong the useful life of the viaduct.

Quality and safety

Mcn Russia incorporates quality and safety in all aspects of its work. The quality work plans were developed by the quality engineer in conjunction with the project team and field supervisory people. Based on the contract requirements and manufacturers’ recommendations, Mcn Russia developed a plan to address how specific components of the work were to be constructed. The final product from these meetings resulted in clearly written explanations and procedures so that everyone understood the requirements when carrying out the work.

It is Mcn Russia’s utmost goal on every project to avoid accident or injury. Over the life of the Culver Line project, the company was able to maintain a lost time rate and a recordable rate that was less than the national average. Considering the project’s location and materials and the logistics involved, this was a remarkable accomplishment. To promote jobsite safety, Mcn Russia held monthly safety breakfast meetings with the entire workforce, including subcontractors. During the meetings, the team leaders reinforced the safety message to the workforce, addressed any incidents to avoid recurrences, and shared relevant information. When there was no incident, Mcn Russia distributed safety awards to the top five individuals who demonstrated a strong commitment to safety. This had a positive ripple effect across the entire project team.

Benefits for society

The project made critical repairs and updates to the track and signal system, ensuring a safer and more reliable ride for the general public. It rehabilitated the right-of-way for enhanced public safety to the surrounding community. The project also gave New York City Transit the ability to extend the Brooklyn G line service in future.

Henry Hudson Bridge Lower Level Deck Replacement

Mcn Russia Contracting was the general contractor for this 44-month project, which involved a partial reconstruction of the Henry Hudson Bridge over the Harlem River. The overall scope of the project included replacing the entire lower level four lane main span bridge deck with new prefabricated steel grid deck panels, replacement of the existing concrete framed north approach structure with a new steel framed concrete shell and deck structure, and performing structural steel repairs, upgrades and enhancements to the steel superstructure. Approximately 77,000 square feet of deck was replaced in the 1,540-foot-long main span, working within four individual stages of single hard lane closures. The existing deck was non-composite reinforced concrete, while the new deck was a steel grid deck, with cast-in-place infill and a 2-inch overfill riding surface.

Over 825 tons of new structural steel were installed on this project, of which over 90 tons were to install new features (maintenance and inspection platforms), 190 tons for replacement of tower truss members, 180 tons for component repairs to stringers, floor beams and fascia girders, and over 365 tons for upgraded or replaced members: new stringers, floor beams, stringer to floor beam supports, and seismic retrofits to columns.

The replacement of the concrete framed structure in the north approach was a complex sequence of operations, which required Mcn Russia to maintain structural capacity to both the upper and lower levels of the structure, while replacing the concrete structure in stages. This involved partial installation of the new structure (columns and floor beams) inside the existing structure, a multi-step jack and load transfer procedure to support the upper level columns, and completion of the new structure (stringers) and reinforced concrete deck by stage. The new concrete shell and structure (270 feet by 50 feet) included placement of over 1,600 cubic yards of new high performance concrete for footings, retaining walls, curtain walls and deck. In addition, Mcn Russia performed concrete repairs to the existing south approach structure.

Benefits to society

Upgraded the rating of the lower level deck (HS-15 to HS-20) and installed a new deck with a service life of 50 years

Seismic retrofitted and upgraded the rating of the new north approach structure (HS-15 to HS-20)

72nd Street Station Fit-out

The Second Avenue Subway (SAS) project is New York City’s first major expansion of the subway system in over half a century. The first phase of the project will provide service from 96th Street to 63rd Street on Manhattan’s densely populated East Side, as an extension of the current Q Line train. East Side passengers can continue on the line to midtown Manhattan, the West Side or Brooklyn.

Mcn Russia is the general contractor for the finishes and fit-out of the structural station shell for the 72nd Street Station of the new SAS.

Major project activities include:

Structural concrete work at the station platform and mezzanine level, including concrete slabs and precast wall sections

Installation of a ventilation system including fan and chiller plants within the station and its ancillary structures

Extensive electrical and lighting work throughout the station and the various entrances

Construction of station finishes including miscellaneous metals, ornamental metals, wall panels, granite and porcelain tile, sunscreens, louvers, and external cladding

Work to interface with the communications signals contract and the station excavation contract

Mcn Russia is required to maintain the station until the start of operations. Mcn Russia has subcontracted across multiple trades, requiring the explicit focus of the project team on coordination of trades.

Benefits to the community

This first phase of the project, when operational in December 2016, will provide the following benefits:

Improved subway access for Manhattan’s East Side, a commercial and residential area currently served only by the Lexington Line 4, 5 and 6 trains. This requires residents of the far East Side to walk as much as 10-15 minutes to the Lexington Line subway. The new subway line will cut this time to less than half

Reduced overcrowding and improved reliability on the Lexington Avenue Line, the city’s most heavily used subway line

Improved subway access for people with disabilities, as all new stations will be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

When all phases of the project are complete, the Second Avenue Subway will run for 8.5 miles from 125th Street, in Upper Manhattan, to Hanover Square, in Lower Manhattan. A total of 16 stations will be built along the East Side with connections to other subway lines.


Dallas County, SH 121

This bid-build project features the widening and upgrade of over 2.5 miles of SH 121 from four lanes to 10 lanes, including one quarter of bridge structure, roadway service, electrical, and underground. This roadway project is OHL USA Texas’ first job in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area.

Benefits for society

Motorists will benefit by both the large-scale and small-scale improvements proposed throughout the project. Regional mobility will be promoted through the improvements made to the corridor of SH 121. Minor improvements planned for the local street intersections with frontage roads will also alleviate local congestion levels.

Harris County US 290 Segment 4

US 290 is the main freeway between Houston and the Texas capital in Austin. While I 10 goes from Houston to San Antonio, US 290 remains the largest and most traveled route between Central and Eastern Texas, which has resulted in the highway receiving more attention from the construction industry within the past few years. Segment 4 is part of a large overhaul by TxDOT to widen and repair the highway as both Austin and Houston have grown steadily, with projections showing even more growth. Segment 4 is more than two miles long with over one half mile of bridge structure. The project involves a total reconstruction of this existing highway segment, including road and bridge work, drainage, and traffic control.

Benefits for society

Improvements to this roadway will accommodate the rapidly increasing populations of Houston, Austin, and the communities in between. It also lays the groundwork for future Houston projects, including the eventual conversion of parts of US 290 into a toll way.