Turner Construction Company, Brookfield Property Partners and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, proudly lowered the final concrete span of a 2.6 acre super-block platform that completed Brookfield's Manhattan West Deck. This achievement marks a milestone for Brookfield, and sets the stage for the company's seven million square foot Manhattan West Development in New York's Hudson Yards District.
Constructed over an active rail hub, "The Manhattan West Deck is the largest platform built in the New York City area," said Turner Vice-President and project executive, Joseph Byrne. "It covers 240 ft. in width and 480 ft. in length, and is the only platform built directly over 16 active train tracks."
To accomplish this feat of engineering, Turner excavated 38,500 cubic yards of rock, poured 9,600 cubic yards of concrete and erected 1,600 tons of recycled steel.
"Rarely has a project of this magnitude run so smoothly," commented Dennis Friedrich, Brookfield's Office Division Chief Executive Officer. "The deck's completion is a true milestone in our project as well as in the history of the State and City of New York. We have, after all, created new land on Manhattan's West Side."
The deck weighs 38,400 tons, the equivalent of more than 150 loaded Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and is comprised of 16 bridge spans that consist of 39 precast concrete segments. Each 58 ton section, measuring 6 ft. by 30 ft. by 12 ft., was precast in Hamilton, New Jersey. Given their sheer size and weight, they could only be delivered hours before they were to be installed. This "just in time" delivery strategy required a comprehensive study of the traffic patterns in the area and a transportation plan that would meet State and City agency standards. Ultimately, the segments were escorted over the George Washington Bridge in the middle of the night (closed to local traffic during the crossing), and transported down Eleventh Avenue to the job site between Ninth and Dyer Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets.
Once on site, the segments were positioned into a straight line and fused together to create a single span, using a series of post tension cables and a specially formulated epoxy. The completed spans were lowered during a 40-minute window from 2:40 AM to 3:20 AM when the train electrical services were shut down, using a custom made launching gantry. The 3,000-ton-capacity, 240-foot-wide gantry detects position, speed, torque, and pressure to ensure precise positioning down to one eighth of an inch.
According to Sabrina Kanner, Senior Vice President of Design and Construction at Brookfield, the project which began in January 2012, represents a momentous achievement. "Design, construction and development is a team sport," Kanner stated. "Turner coordinated and scheduled us all, and led us over the finish line."
With the last span lowered several weeks ago, the stage is now set for Brookfield to redefine New York's Cityscape. The Manhattan West Deck will become the location of a two-acre, 90,000-square-foot public plaza and a premier destination for events, art installations and performances. Designed by High Line architects, James Corner Field Operations, the public plaza will serve as the center of the development, bringing together an 800-unit luxury residential and a 3.8-million square foot premier commercial space within two towers. As the first stage in Brookfield's development, The Deck will unite commerce, transportation, and recreation in a sustainable lifestyle environment that will fully and spectacularly realize the potential of Manhattan's West Side in the 21st century.