Hurricane Sandy Staten Island Residential Repairs, Staten Island, N.Y.


Part of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's New York City Rapid Repairs initiative, the project team performed rapid response work for Staten Island residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy.

For 80 days immediately after the October 2012 storm, the team worked to restore essentials such as heat, hot water and power to 1,300 homes in only 80 days, a feat that one judged called a "yeoman's effort."

Since the urgent nature of the project required an aggressive schedule, it took just 48 hours from the time of the request for proposals until the first stages of work would begin.

It took less than a month for the general contractor—one of a handful chosen by the city—to assemble a team of 400 personnel. The project included more than 300 craft workers and 30 home assessment teams that consisted of one engineer and two tradesmen each. The team itself also provided 50 craft workers and 45 management personnel.

Crews worked an aggressive schedule that included constant communication with city officials and the community to secure broken windows and exterior doors, cover damaged roofs, replace heating units, install temporary electrical panels and more.

They also removed debris such as drywall, insulation, carpet, hot water heaters, boilers, furnaces, electrical wire and electrical devices, trees, branches and building materials on public and private property.

The project required a massive coordination effort and extremely long and intensive work days, resulting in the completion of $76 million worth of work covering 75% of Staten Island.

The team developed a tablet-based documentation system to manage in real time the project's enormous daily data flow. The long list of information for every home inspected included the time, date and name of the engineer performing the assessment, basic property data, homeowner contact information, whether the homeowner was present at the meeting, environmental conditions at the home, regulatory agency information and structural concerns.

It also included the estimated scope of repair work covered under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Temporary Essential Power Pilot Program and photos.

This helped with the project's constantly changing scope, and as a result, the team was able to manage up to 30 home assessment crews performing concurrently over a 43-sq-mile area in Staten Island, establishing power at an average of 15 homes per day.

The GC says that one of the biggest challenges was that the project was subject to public scrutiny and many residents were reluctant to let a contractor enter their homes. Crews were trained on work processes and procedures and were instructed to address residents with empathy. The team also took the initiative to quickly establish a call center to address residents' issues and questions at any time.

The judges gave the team high marks for its sensitivity in working with the public, which one said, "was up in the air and scared." He added that "the construction crews were specifically trained on working with empathy."

Key Players

Owner NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection

General Contractor The Conti Group

Damage Assessment/Work Order Creation Michael Baker Engineering Inc.

Customer Service/Community Relations Melissa Johnson

Electrical Welsbach Electric; TC Electric; Walsh Electric

Mechanical Welkin Mechanical; Duo Plumbing; F&T Mechanical