Roberto Clemente State Park is a 25-acre waterfront park located along the Harlem River in the Bronx. It was established in 1972, and was the first NY State Park created in an urban setting. With facilities including a multi-purpose recreation building, an Olympic-size pool complex, ball fields, basketball courts, picnic areas, play-grounds and a waterfront promenade, the park is a popular public venue. LiRo's is providing construction management services for several extensive renovation projects. All work must be performed without disrupting activities within the park and surrounding communities. Projects include:
Bulkhead Restoration: Approximately 2,200 linear feet of steel sheet pile seawall facing the Harlem River will be rehabilitated. The construction of a 9,000 sf tidal pool will provide a natural habitat for plant and animal life and will also help absorb heavy rainfall. A new esplanade incorporating new walkways, planters, lighting, irrigation systems, and plantings will be installed.
Lower Plaza: Situated adjacent to the new Tidal Pool, the Lower Plaza will be upgraded to include new concrete pavers, landscaping, benches, light fixtures, site utilities, signage and picnic furnishings.
Upper Plaza: The Plaza is located on the roof above the Activity Building, which will remain in full operation during the work. Phased construction is essential to maintain continued vehicular access to the parking lot and lower level delivery entrance during construction. The scope will include hazardous materials abatement; installation of a green roof; new roof signage and lighting; fabrication and installation of aluminum colonnade; new structural steel supports; and upgrades of plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems.
What are some challenges you encounter making sure normal activity at the Park is not interrupted by the work being done?
CC: We are faced with many challenges making sure that the Park's day to day activities are not interrupted by construction. Ensuring that MPT (Maintenance and Protection of Traffic) plans are properly implemented and maintained for the public's safety at all times is critical and working with the Park's schedule of activities on a daily basis making sure that all construction work, movement of equipment and deliveries do not disrupt the Park and it's patrons with safety as our number one priority, are to name a few.
JB: Keeping patrons safely away from the work zone. Site fences must be maintained so pedestrians are kept from active construction areas.
What were some of the unique requirements of managing construction along the river's edge?
JB: A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPPS) is a component of this project that aids in controlling soil erosion and run off to the river. Weekly inspections are held that ensure we are preventing soil from running into storm drains or into the river.
CC: We manage the installation and maintenance of the site specific SWPPP plans along with our weekly onsite inspections in effort to prevent erosion and pollution from impeding onto the areas outside the construction area upland, and Harlem River. Safety of course is a priority, and wearing personal flotation devices are required when working and inspecting along the river's edge.
Were the plants utilized in the tidal pool specifically chosen for that habitat? What were some of the methods used to ensure that plantings would adapt to their new environment?
JB: All of the new plantings in the tidal pool and on the esplanade have been planned by our Landscape Architects, Mathews Neilson & The RBA Group. Their designs calls for structural soil to be used that carries nutrition and creates a strong base for new plants to establish a foothold. Any planting job done by a river will have challenges dealing with the harsh rain, snow and wind conditions so a good foundation with structural soil will give them what they need to survive.
Is there anything unique that stands out in this project compared to your previous work experience?
DL: The degree of public exposure as the roadway is opened to repair the structural steel and slabs.
JB: Our site has a 345KVA electrical line that feeds power to Manhattan under the Harlem River. Early in the project planning, arrangements were made with ConEd to monitor vibration and ensure that the oil cooled lines were not damaged. A vibration monitoring plan was submitted and agreed to, prior to the start of the work. Monitoring of the area was closely watched by our onsite Special Inspections Engineer, Weeks Marine and ConEd to ensure the installment of sheet piles would not damage the power lines.
What motivates you to work hard?
CC: I'm very results-driven and achieving the desired end result is motivating. I enjoy working with a good team of people and closely with the client who share the same goals.
DL: My ethics, I like to do every job to the very best of my ability.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
CC: I like knowing that every effort put forth is ultimately for the improvement of a space and in this case, an entire park that is utilized and enjoyed year round by so many in the surrounding community and beyond.
DL: Building things, including relationships with my peers and clients.
JB: I enjoy building things. I like leaving a mark.
What was your first job?
CC: I was a sales clerk in the men's department for Stein Mart Department Store in Florida.
DL: I had a paper route in high school.
JB: Delivering newspapers in 7th grade.
Frank Franco, AIA, is a Registered Architect who has provided construction management and design services for over 30 years. With extensive healthcare, cultural, housing, and parks experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the management of construction projects within active operational campuses. Frank has been with LiRo for 17 years.
Chris Carter has over 16 years of architectural design and construction management experience. With LiRo since 2006, he has been an integral part of the construction management teams for the Battery Park Pier A Restoration, DASNY Bernard Fineson Facility, and several NYCHA renovation projects.
John Brzozowski has over 25 years of construction management experience, with a concentration on waterfront projects. His previous LiRo projects include several bulkhead and pier restoration projects for NYCEDC. John has been with LiRo since 2013.
David Logsdon is a highly experienced construction professional of 30 years, with previous roles as Real Estate Developer, Project Manager and Superintendent. His project experience ranges from ground-up construction to gut reconstructions for both public and private clients.