OUR BLOG: INSIDE THE LIFT

15Jun 2015

Soil Stabilization under 100-Year-Old FDNY Firehouse

By Susan Albershardt

Fire stations are critical in serving the diverse needs of the community where they are located, as well as the fire department they report to.  The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) protects more than 8,000,000 New York City residents living and working in a 320 square mile radius.  The FDNY is the largest fire department in the United States.

Brooklyn from the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn from the Brooklyn Bridge

The FDNY serves the five boroughs of New York City and includes 255 fire stations.  Each fire station’s differences relate to the size of the firefighting apparatus housed within it and the facility’s location, which is largely driven by the need to minimize response time.  The FDNY Engine Companies are tasked with securing a water supply and extinguishing the fire while the FDNY Ladder Companies conduct search and rescue, forcible entry, and ventilation at the scene of a fire.

Firehouse of Engine Company 229 and Ladder Company 146
Firehouse of Engine Company 229 and Ladder Company 146

One of Brooklyn’s busiest firehouses is FDNY’s Engine Company 229 and Ladder Company 146.  The building housing this group of firefighters is more than 100 years old and they have had trouble for many years with the foundation settling and cracking in their apparatus bays.  None of the repairs they had tried worked, which is why URETEK Holdings was called in to help stabilize the subsurface soils underneath the foundation of the apparatus bays.

Working with Cameron Engineering, ZHL Group Contracting, and FDNY’s project manager, URETEK’s project manager (Tony Alfano), prepared a proposal for stabilizing the subsoil by injecting URETEK 486 STAR polymer grout throughout the specified area at a 4’ on center and at -4’ depth.

URETEK's rig parked in front of the firehouse.
URETEK’s rig parked in front of the firehouse

Since the firehouse had to be operational 24/7 with no downtime, URETEK had to perform the injections with no interruption to the firehouse’s operations.  Tony promised the FDNY that the firehouse would remain operational during the repair.

URETEK technician drilling injection hole into foundation of firehouse.
URETEK’s technician drilling injection hole into foundation of firehouse

The firehouse moved one truck out of its bay while URETEK’s crews worked in that bay.  When the crew was ready to install under the second bay, they simply switched sides, moving the other truck out of the bay while they worked.  URETEK completed the installation of the 486 STAR polymer in two days and Tony was able to keep his promise to the fire fighters.

URETEK's crew working in the apparatus bays of the firehouse.
URETEK’s crew working in the apparatus bays of the firehouse

You can read all about the heroic work of Engine Company 229 and Ladder Company 146 on their Facebook page.

References

History. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/general/history.shtml

Mion, E. (2009, June 9). Fire Station. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.wbdg.org/design/firestation.php

New York City Fire Department. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Fire_Department#Engine_companies