JP Morgan Chase embarked on a $20 million renovation of their Chase Tower office facility in downtown Rochester, New York. The purpose of the renovation was to consolidate 850 Chase employees in the 27 story, 427,000 square foot high rise. The upgrade would include refurbishment of office spaces, new electrical throughout, and state-of-the-art data and voice technology.
O’Connell has been providing electrical and communications services to the Chase Tower for over 30 years. We were a natural fit for this renovation project. O’Connell subcontracted with The Pike Company to provide full electrical construction and communications systems for the building. Our contracts totaled $6.9 million and the work was completed in 18 months.
The electrical construction portion of the project was comprehensive, involving renovation and updates to 13 floors of the building’s electrical, and UPS systems.
Our communications work encompassed 16 of the building’s 27 floors. Work included build-out of over 3500 Category 6 Systimax voice and data connections, a 24-Strand Fiber Optic and 50-pair Category 3 copper communications backbone, 16 telecommunications rooms, design and construction of the tower’s new data center, and a building-wide card access system. O’Connell also installed the tower’s new fire protection system.
The 6 story, 235,000 square foot Syracuse University Life Sciences Building was the largest project undertaken in the university’s history at a cost of $110 million. The massive structure was integrated with the existing Center for Science and Technology Building via a four story glass atrium that joined them.
O’Connell subcontracted from Barr & Barr Contractors, completing $9 million of major electrical construction work. Electrifying the building included installation of all switchgear, conduit and wire, interior and site lighting, lecture room dimmer systems, and building lighting control system with integration to the campus-wide building management system. We provided power distribution throughout the building via two unit substations with 4.8KV primary 480V/277V secondary with main-tie-main busways. Two natural gas generators were installed on the top floor with control switchgear and automatic transfer switches for emergency power backup. O’Connell installed the lightning protection and grounding systems which required grounding wells in excess of 300 feet. We outfitted the complex with complete fire protection systems, voice and data raceways, and security conduit systems.
O’Connell was also awarded a $2.7 million contract to upgrade the university’s north campus high voltage substation upgrade portion of the project.
IBM was looking to upgrade the power backup systems for their 100,000 square foot customer data center facility in Greece, New York. A key aspect of the upgrade would be the installation and commissioning of a new emergency power distribution system to assure the facility would remain operational in the event of a power failure.
O’Connell Electric subcontracted from Skanska USA to provide the primary components of the emergency power distribution system as well as all systems testing and commissioning services. The $750K project took six months to complete. The electrical construction work included installation of three 5KV / 2500KW standby generators, 5KV paralleling switchgear, two 34.5KV / 7.5MVA transformers, interior double ended 34.5 KV transfer switches, and the control wiring connecting paralleling switchgear to transfer switches. O’Connell retrofitted the facility’s existing electrical mains to allow for switching from normal to emergency power, and back again, without interruption.
O’Connell’s Technical Services group provided systems component testing that included relays, switchgear, transformers, and breakers and carried out all systems testing and commissioning.
Turning Stone Resort & Casino, a top-five tourist destination in New York State, recently embarked on a $308 million expansion project. The project included three new structures featuring a twenty-story, 200,000 square foot, 287 room casino hotel, a 5000-seat multipurpose event center, and a 22,000 square foot Winter Garden entry way connecting the two structures.
Our long standing relationship with the Oneida Indian Nation and Turning Stone dates back to completion of the casino’s opening in 1993. For this expansion project, O’Connell Electric provided full electrical construction for the three facilities under a $9.2 million subcontract with Hunt Construction Group.
Scope of work incorporated all primary and secondary power, emergency power systems, conventional as well as specialty interior and exterior lighting, theater sound systems, telephone, data and fire alarm systems, lightning protection, and UPS system. Key materials and equipment installed included 13.2 kV primary and 480/277 secondary service, one 1000 kVA and two 2500 kVA transformers, and a 500 kW standby generator. O’Connell’s innovative approach to construction management yielded productivity enhancements at the job site and helped work crews stay ahead of construction schedules.
Cohocton Wind is a 125MW wind farm sited across the hilltops of a designated agricultural district in New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. The $150 million project involved installation of 50 Clipper Liberty 2.5MW Wind Turbines, two substations, transmission lines, and access roads. Cohocton Wind is owned and operated by Canandaigua Power Partners, an LLC created by developer First Wind. The site provides enough energy to supply 50,000 homes in the Northeastern US.
Under a $7.5 million contract with MSE Power Systems, O’Connell constructed the project’s two collection substations, overhead collection lines, ten miles of pole supported overhead 115kV transmission line, and the New York State grid point of interconnect 230kV switchyard. Construction began in winter involving site clearing, excavation, and pole setting on the steep, rugged slopes of the Bristol Hills. The combination of our experience and fleet of specialized all-terrain equipment and track vehicles enabled us to meet the challenges of the project and complete work within the construction window, even with numerous scheduling, weather, and site access setbacks.
The overhead transmission line O’Connell constructed connects Cohocton Wind’s two collection substations on opposing sides of New York Interstate 390. Our crossing of the interstate coincided with that of another large area construction project which we successfully managed simultaneously without interruption to either. Throughout the project, O’Connell was able to utilize the regional railroad system for delivery of poles as well as removal of logs from site clearing.
Project management on the ground and back at the office maintained strong working relationships with area government and regulatory officials as well as regular communications with resident land owners to facilitate successful construction activities. Our experience working within agricultural districts and our utilization of local forces helped breakdown barriers that could have further inhibited construction progress.
O’Connell’s Technical Services Division commissioned elements of the system to ensure they met with the interconnecting utility’s standards and specs. We remained engaged in the project past our contractual obligations to provide counsel and help ensure a seamless energization of the system.
In keeping with their mission and commitment to provide the best available healthcare services to all individuals in their community and region, Lourdes Hospital recently launched a three-year, $70 million expansion and update project designed to bring in new and advanced technologies, state-of-the-art department upgrades, as well as improve their outpatient service package.
Lourdes Hospital had its start as a twenty-five bed facility in a Binghamton, New York mansion purchased by area residents in 1925. Administered by Daughters of Charity (now Ascension Health), the hospital has been known for its groundbreaking service offerings over the past eight-and-a-half decades, being first to provide a recovery room, intensive care unit, and hospice to New York State’s Southern Tier region as well as cancer center and electrodiagnostic laboratory.
O’Connell has maintained a long-standing working relationship with Lourde’s as well as dozens of other hospitals across New York State. Working directly for the hospital, we were awarded a competitive bid contract for $1.9 million to perform all electrical construction. The project involved expansion and modernization of Lourdes’ emergency and radiology departments as well as new Open MRI and two new surgical suites. A new ambulatory care building was also constructed to contain the gastroenterology suite, rehabilitation department, outpatient blood lab, pre-admission testing area, and hospital registration with a new two-story main entrance connecting it to the existing structure.
Our scope of work for the project was comprehensive. O’Connell constructed and installed all primary, secondary, and standby power distribution systems, the hospital’s specialized ‘medical systems’, interior and exterior lighting, and fire, life safety, and communications systems. Construction of the hospital’s dedicated power house included the installation of two Milton Cat 750kW packaged standby engine generator sets in conjunction with Russelectric paralleling switchgear and transfer switches for maintaining power across the hospital’s critical, life safety, emergency, and mechanical systems as well as Open MRI. Additionally, our Technical Services Division performed start-up testing and commissioning for the new electrical service, distribution systems, and equipment.
Through careful planning, O’Connell executed periodic power shutdowns throughout various stages of the project, completing all work with no disruption to ongoing hospital operations. The hospital’s Open MRI and surgical suites required special coordination efforts involving the customer, manufacturers, consultants, contractors, and staff to ensure proper systems configuration, operation, and turnover. O’Connell was found to be in good standing during numerous unscheduled inspections conducted by New York State’s Department of Health and Human Services.
O’Connell’s Core Values in Action: For the Lourdes expansion project O’Connell employed a full-time, on-site superintendent who oversaw the day-to-day job site operations and was the face of our company to hospital representatives, the GC, and all other involved parties. The superintendent played an active role at both the weekly construction meetings and two-week look-ahead planning sessions in addition to maintaining O’Connell’s formal onsite Quality Assurance program. Through the employment of advanced training practices, OSHA certifications, onsite Lunch Box Safety Talks, daily safety inspections, and two-week look-ahead participation, O’Connell was able to maintain an impeccable safety and performance record throughout the project.
As part of the region’s Western Gateway Initiative the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and New York State embarked on a $38 million bridge replacement project involving the heavily travelled Interstate 490/Rochester Innerloop corridor. The City of Rochester wanted a “signature bridge” to define the area’s redevelopment program for this high profile crossing of the Genesee River. To achieve this, a 433 foot steel cable arch bridge was designed to span the river rising 100 feet above the water. The bridge is one of the widest steel three-rib true arch bridges in the world (130 feet). Decorative lighting arrangements were designed to give the bridge added aesthetic appeal.
In 1972, O’Connell had provided electrical construction services on the former Troup-Howell Bridge for a major lane expansion initiative. Thirty-five years later we were back on location providing electrical construction services for lighting the new bridge. O’Connell aided field engineers in interpreting the electrical plans for the bridge’s innovative accent lighting system and worked closely with the general contractor and New York State DOT to satisfy all electrical objectives. The final results speak for themselves.
The GM Powertrain Engine Plant in Tonawanda, New York is a key facet of General Motors’ manufacturing arsenal. It is one of the largest engine producing facilities in the world with over 3 million feet of floor space dedicated to the manufacture of several key lines for the company. Recently, $425 million was committed to bring manufacture of the Ecotec 2.4 Liter, four-cylinder engines to the plant, currently found in the critically acclaimed Chevrolet Malibu, an endeavor expected to create approximately 470 new jobs in the area. GM has invested $2.3 billion into their Tonawanda facility over the last decade with several additional lines being added in the next few years. Since operations began in 1938 the plant has churned-out nearly 75 million engines.
Under a $1.45 million contract from Hohl Industrial Services, O’Connell Electric was hired to build GM Powertrain’s new Ecotec 2.4 Liter engine and crank assembly lines. This was our eighth major project completed at the Tonawanda plant marking a working relationship that has spanned more than ten years with the auto giant.
O’Connell demonstrated its core values of adaptability, by constructing the two new lines under fully operational industrial manufacturing conditions and dependability, by completing all work without interruption to the surrounding production lines. Our management and technicians worked in tandem with GM plant operations and safety personnel to establish communication and scheduling protocols, utilizing one and two-week ‘look-aheads’ as well as the training and enforcement of stringent onsite safety procedures.
O’Connell powered all new machines and equipment off of the plant’s existing bus ducts with wire drops from a complex electrical duct system for equipment hook-up and testing. Throughout the five-month project, O’Connell systematically energized the giant snake-like conveyor assembly lines and worked closely with assembly line production systems manufacturer, Hirata, to bring hundreds of machines and equipment online and operational. In addition to electrical, O’Connell was responsible for all communications systems related to the assembly lines which required installation of all data cabling, hook-up to machines and machine consoles, and tie-in to the main communications hub.
O’Connell met all timelines for the project and had no recorded safety incidents.
Time Warner’s regional electrical facilities needed major upgrading to accommodate business growth and assure uninterrupted quality service to customers. The project was deemed ‘mission critical’—success being vital to the company’s goals and objectives in the region.
Retrofitting the existing structure with electrical upgrades and additions posed unique challenges. Time Warner awarded O’Connell a $2.5 million contract for electrical work to provide standby emergency power generation and an uninterruptible power supply system (UPS).
Equipment installations included: three 750 kw generators (with provision for additional generators), five generator control cabinets, a 400kVA UPS system with control cabinet (with provision for three additional systems), additional distribution panels, a thousand lineal feet of 225 amp busway, power logic switching and metering and a paralleling switchgear package.
Additionally, O’Connell contracted to render start-up and commissioning services on the new and upgraded systems. The new work was integrated into Time Warner operations without interruption to customer service and backed by a 3 year warranty.
New York State Office of General Services put out a bid notice for installation of a comprehensive audio and video monitoring system at Albion Correctional Facility in Upstate, New York. With a history dating back to 1892, Albion is a medium security women’s prison run by the New York State Department of Correctional Services—one of six female facilities in the State.
O’Connell has project experience at more than 65 correctional facilities and prisons across New York. We were awarded a $5 million contract to install the new audio and video monitoring system at Albion as general contractor for the project. Work involved construction and excavation between the primary control center and 24 other buildings being monitored. Included were installation of 400 color closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) inside and out, 300 high-sensitivity boundary microphones that utilize walls for sound pick-up, and remote equipment racks at each of the 24 buildings. O’Connell also constructed the climate-regulated control room that features 21 seven-foot-high equipment cabinets for the head-end digital recording system, CCTV matrix switch, fiber optic interface equipment, and several interface consoles.
O’Connell needed to position, aim, and focus each CCTV camera precisely to achieve zero blind-spots and optimum clarity. The audio system required our professional expertise and fine-tuning to optimize microphone positioning as well as system component settings and sound level adjustments to capture the maximum range from each site. O’Connell installed all electrical and communications conduit, cable, and wire for the project, often cutting and drilling through concrete walls and foundations to gain access to a diverse collection of structures.
O’Connell’s experience working at prison facilities ensured that there were no security breaches during the project and no employee, inmate incidents. Our work was completed within the original 20-month time allotment with no safety related incidents.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Applied Science and Technology Building is the campus’s first green certified structure. At $10.6 million the contemporary 43,000 square foot facility was designed to meet LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). CAST was awarded Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
O’Connell subcontracted from Wellivere McGuire, Inc. to provide $1.7 million of electrical construction and communications work for the state-of-the-art CAST building. Included were 15 kV service, primary and secondary power, a structured cabling system with fiber optic backbone for all building communications (voice, data, and video), TEGG certified reliability testing of all systems, and roof mounted photo voltaic solar modules for educational purposes. All work was successfully performed under a tight schedule to meet faculty and student occupancy requirements.
Anheuser-Busch produces five of the top ten best selling beers in the country, including Bud Light and Budweiser, number one and two, respectively. Modernization of the finishing cellar at their Baldwinsville, New York brewery was part of a $182 million investment the beer-maker committed to US operations for the year. The Baldwinsville brewery began production in 1983 and is one of 12 breweries Anheuser-Busch operates across the country. Situated on 370 acres, their largest US site, the brewery has an annual production capacity of more than eight million barrels.
O’Connell employees have been providing Anheuser Busch with exceptional customer service, dependability, and quality of work at their Baldwinsville brewery for more than sixteen years. That history of trust helped determine O’Connell’s selection as prime contractor for the challenging and complex $2.5 million electrical construction portion of their modernization project, designed to increase efficiency and production at the facility.
The project called for the highest level of skill to meet Anheuser Busch’s exacting and demanding production process requirements. O’Connell’s scope of work involved power and connections for 5,300 new system control valves, 1,700 discrete and analog devices, and 214 pumps. For the brains of the operation we installed several new programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and network-wired them, along with existing units in the plant’s central control room, to remote Input/Output (I/O) cabinets spread across the one-and-a-half million square foot facility. We were also responsible for removal of existing equipment and subcontracting the concrete work.
Through planned and skillful orchestration, O’Connell was able to minimize production disruptions at the brewery by staggering round-the-clock process shutdowns between brewing, packaging, and shipping. With no margin for error, our crews demonstrated extreme commitment and efficiency in completing all work within the allotted down-times—lasting between two days and two weeks—and even ahead of schedule, while maintaining the high quality standards O’Connell is known for.
O’Connell garnered recognition for their industry leadership and work on this project through foreman, Todd Naramore, who won the Syracuse Builders Exchange Annual Craftsmanship Award for excellence in construction for the electrical building trade category. Other projects completed by O’Connell personnel at the Baldwinsville brewery include their new Variety Pack line that facilitates combining of several brands into a common package, upgrade and modernization of their keg line, and a new high-speed can line.
The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is the Greater Rochester region’s largest employer with 20,000 employees and an annual operating budget of nearly $2 billion. URMC is comprised of several academic and health care delivery institutions that include The School of Medicine and Dentistry, Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, and School of Nursing. The Center is one of the country’s top academic medical institutions with research funding ranking within the top 25% nationally for its School of Medicine and 12th highest on the list for its School of Nursing. The combined square-footage of URMC facilities exceeds 8 million.
Our working relationship with the University of Rochester Medical Center spans more than two decades. Throughout this time O’Connell has maintained a continuous active presence across URMC facilities. Having worked on a host of upgrade and modernization projects as well as major renovations and expansions, O’Connell has constructed electrical infrastructure ranging from high voltage power distribution and emergency backup systems to life safety and communications to systems testing and commissioning. We coordinate with the facilities group on day-to-day service and maintenance support and provide emergency response services as needed.
O’Connell has had extensive experience working on projects for the Radiology Department at URMC, as well as at other hospitals. We have acquired a wealth of knowledge and skills addressing the unique electrical challenges and requirements involved with X-ray equipment, CAT and CT scanner, and MRI (Standard, Functional, and Open) installations. Based on O’Connell’s experience in these areas we have been hired by the engineering firms working on various URMC Radiology projects to assist in developing the power system designs and layouts.
Many projects at URMC require our electricians to work in Occupied Patient Areas. When upgrading the Nurse Call System at Strong Memorial Hospital O’Connell technicians needed access to nearly every room including OR. O’Connell has worked on numerous projects where we upgraded patient rooms in fully functioning patient wings. Several Catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab) renovation projects along with our work at a new Electrophysiology (EP) laboratory also required special consideration and action. In such cases, strict adherence to an ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment), a multidisciplinary process focused on reducing risk from infection, is mandatory to ensure both patient and worker safety.
O’Connell Electric’s longstanding partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center stems from a mutual trust and respect that has been fostered between two leaders in their fields along with and unwavering commitment to providing exceptional customer service.
The Guaranty Building, in Buffalo, New York, is recognized worldwide for its groundbreaking engineering, architectural design, and celebrity. It is heralded as one of the first modern skyscrapers, being constructed with an entirely steel frame. Designed by renowned American architect, Louis Sullivan, mentor to Frank Loyd Wright, the Guaranty Building embodies modernism with influences of Art Nouveau and the English Arts & Crafts movement. The twelve-floor structure exemplifies Sullivan’s creed that “form follows function” and is elaborately decorated with ornamental features inside and out; one of his trademarks. The Guaranty Building opened its doors in 1895.
Hodgson Russ Attorneys have been instrumental in preservation initiatives surrounding this National Historic Landmark for more than three decades. When the opportunity arose, the firm purchased the building as a means for consolidating their headquarter operations into one location. Recently, Hodgson Russ implemented an extensive renovation and restoration of the structure to both modernize the facility and ensure that the Guaranty Building remains a testament to past ingenuities and one of the nation’s great architectural treasures.
O’Connell is often contacted for historical renovation projects, where craftsmanship and attention to detail are paramount. We have broad experience working on high-profile, historical landmarks and renovation and restoration projects. As one of America’s most important architectural landmarks, the Guaranty Building ranks among our most prestigious.
O’Connell was hired early-on to consult with the project’s architect and engineer in helping create budgets and determine the renovation specifications contractors would bid against. We fine-tuned budget numbers against a progressive series of drawings until they were at 100%. Exclusive from the bid package, O’Connell was entrusted with renovating the front exterior of the Guaranty Building as well as the front interior atrium, two showcase areas that Hodgson Russ did not want to leave to chance with an unfamiliar contractor. After the bids were in, O’Connell came away with a contract for $2.4 million.
The scope of electrical construction involved demolition and gutting of all existing electrical infrastructure before constructing new power distribution and emergency backup systems, lighting, safety, and security systems, communications, audio visual, and a data control center. On one Saturday we orchestrated the shut down of Pearl Street, a main city thoroughfare, to enable access for a crane to lift a 350KW generator onto the roof.
The historical renovations for this project are the real story. After more than 100 years, much of the Guaranty Building’s original interior and exterior ornamentals had been preserved. Protection of these assets during demolition and construction was vital. Great care was taken to prevent damage to the exotic woods, hand-cut tile, granite, stamped terra cotta, brass decore, facades, and fixtures which were restored to stay true to the building’s original design and styling.
Approximately 3000 square feet of decorative stained glass adorns three ceilings of the building’s main lobby and adjoining atrium. O’Connell installed an advanced technology LED backlighting system that allows for patterned and section illumination as well as dimming control. O’Connell workers systematically removed each original 6’ x 6’ section with painstaking care, immediately protecting and storing them until they were reinstalled.
O’Connell removed the large original brass gas lanterns mounted on the building’s exterior and converted them for electric usage. Inside, we also converted the gas lamp fixtures that hang from the lobby ceiling into electric. O’Connell installed lighting in the elevator shaft of the first few floors that incorporate an open-design where the elevators and background can be seen through a combination of glass and brass.
Tenant move-in was sequenced with the renovation schedule, starting with the top floors, in addition to the newly renovated basement that was converted into a high-end kitchen and dining center. O’Connell facilitated each Hodgson Russ relocation into the building through round-the-clock Friday evening to Monday morning schedules so employees would have seamless transitions with no down-time. Special practices were employed to help ensure the safety of both tenants and workers in a construction environment that was partially occupied.
Albany’s New York State Legislative Hearing Rooms recently underwent $5.2 million in renovations and upgrades. Located at the north end of the Empire State Plaza in the Legislative Office Building, the three hearing rooms are in use nearly year-round by both the Senate and Assembly as well as other state agencies.
In an attempt by state government to become more visible and transparent to the average citizen, a key aspect of the renovations involved incorporating numerous technological upgrades and advancements. The new audiovisual systems allow for digital projection of material on large format monitors for the audience and legislators as well as for enhanced television and radio transmission.
Several aspects of the renovation project were driven by Federal and State mandates. The the Legislative Office Building was constructed in the early 1970s with the Hearing Rooms receiving their last major upgrade more than three decades ago. Seating capacity between the three hearing rooms totals nine hundred.
Under contracts totaling $2.5 million with New York State’s Office of General Services, O’Connell contributed both electrical construction and communications services to the renovation project. O’Connell upgraded existing electrical which involved new panels and an expanded power distribution system that included installation of conduit, wire, and receptacles as well as device terminations and a building card-access system that we integrated in conjunction with Honeywell. We installed all new general lighting as well as the specialty theatrical lighting systems necessary for televising in HD from the hearing rooms. Our Communications Division installed the new fiber optic backbone, with terminations and testing, including the raceways that support each of the three hearing rooms’ state-of-the-art, production-quality audiovisual systems and control rooms.
Throughout the duration of this two-year project, O’Connell maintained a clean safety record with no recordable injuries.
State of New York, Office of General Services put out renovation bids for Building 41, Central New York Psychiatric Center. The building is a 210 bed maximum security facility constructed and operated by the New York State Department of Mental Health.
O’Connell Electric completed a $5 million contract to provide perimeter security systems and fencing for Building 41 as well as its security console and video recording equipment. Our electrical construction work included exterior security and sports field lighting, perimeter fence sensor cabling and microwave security system, fence personnel alarm and public address system, perimeter CCTV system, and gate control system. O’Connell was acting GC for the contract which also included site excavation, grading, new storm and sanitary sewers, a large retention pond, sidewalks, new recreational sports fields, new access roadways, and a double security fence to enclose the complex.
Colgate University embarked on a $57.5 million expansion/renovation project. The endeavor combined full renovation of the existing 101,000 square foot Case Library building with a 51,000 square foot addition for its new Geyer Center for Information Technology, taking it from a four story structure to five.
O’Connell’s extensive college and university experience positioned us as a top candidate for the Case Library project. Our competitive bidding sealed the deal. We were awarded a $4.4 million contract by the Gilbane Company for full electrical construction. Scope of work required upgrading the renovated library’s outdated electrical service and new electrical work for the Geyer Center as well as new multi-media production suite, high-tech work stations, meeting spaces, lounges, and cafe.
Over a one and a half year construction schedule, O’Connell installed new primary underground electrical structures, 2,500 amp main electric service, and automatic transfer 300 KW natural gas indoor standby generator systems to the building complex. We also furnished all architectural lighting, lighting control and life safety systems, building access control and management systems, all grounding systems and lightning protection, and site lighting.
Monroe County’s new O’Rorke Bridge was designed to be a landmark structure serving Rochester’s waterfront community on Lake Ontario. The four lane double leaf Scherzer rolling-lift bascule bridge spans 243 feet across the Genesee River, replacing the Stutson Street Bridge which served the area for over 70 years. Highway approach structures from east and west total 678 feet.
Under a $5 million sub-contract from Crane-Hogan Structural Systems, O’Connell Electric provided all electrical construction and data communications work for the new bridge’s power and control systems, highway approach lighting, bridge accent lighting, security systems, and area traffic control signals.
O’Connell’s electrical work for bridge power and control systems was critical for operational reliability. The drive in each of the bridge’s bascule leaves consists of interconnected dual electric motors. Standby power for all bridge systems was supplied by an auto-start diesel generator. The control system allows semi-automatic operation of the drive system via a programmable logic computer.
O’Connell’s fiber optics work included design and installation of two-72 strand submarine cables installed under the river bed, alongside the electric, which linked bridge and highway CCTV systems, several traffic signal controls, a local water and wastewater plant, and controls for future area needs.
The computer controlled accent lighting system O’Connell installed incorporates several service levels spanning “Standard” to “Full Ornamental” for special events.
Casella Waste Systems owns and operates a methane gas-to-energy plant at their landfill operations in Angelica, New York—the company’s fourth LFGTE project. Energy East contracted with Casella to tap into this renewable energy power generating source. At full capacity the site is expected to produce 4.8 megawatts per hour of clean energy.
As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, O’Connell Electric actively pursues renewable and alternative energy projects where our expertise can be utilized. For this project we were awarded two contracts totaling $3.2 million. The work involved constructing six miles of overhead 34.5kV sub transmission line and a 34.5kV switchyard substation with point of interconnect (POI) to tie the Casella power generating facility into Energy East’s transmission system.
South of Buffalo, New York, on an abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant site, eight 2.5MW Clipper wind turbines are producing power for the New York State Independent System Operator grid. Called “Steel Winds”, it was a $40 million clean energy project developed and owned jointly by BQ Energy and UPC Wind. The wind turbines (the largest manufactured in the U.S.) can produce 57,000 MW-Hours of electricity a year with the power sold both to individual companies and utilities. Steel Winds is said to be the largest U.S. wind farm developed in an urban setting and the first sited on the shores of Lake Erie.
What started as a small condition assessment job on a retired substation by O’Connell’s Technical Services Group led to our getting the complete electrical construction package at Steel Winds, subcontracted from the Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group. We repaired and modified the existing substation to accept power generated by the wind turbines, installed the underground collection systems and overhead transmission lines, tower wiring and grounding, and ran fiber optics for all data communications. We wrapped up the project where it all began—at the substation—by providing final systems acceptance testing and commissioning. Today, we provide preventative maintenance services to the new site owners.
With a student enrollment of nearly 29,000, the University at Buffalo (UB) is the largest public university in the Northeastern United States. As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the school hosts home football and soccer games as well as track and field events at UB Stadium. Current televising of NCAA football games in High Definition (HD) required greater illumination of the playing field than the original stadium lights could deliver necessitating the rental of additional lights. Concerned about energy efficiency and operating costs of the existing lighting system, UB approved a permanent lighting upgrade for the stadium. In addition to facilitating HD television broadcasts the new eco-friendly stadium lighting system is reported to be saving the university $70,000 in energy costs annually. This aligns with the school’s energy conservation and green building goals outlined under the UB Green initiative.
Under an $860,000 contract from the University at Buffalo, in conjunction with the New York Power Authority, O’Connell was hired as prime contractor to upgrade the lighting systems at UB Stadium. Project scope involved the construction of eight new stadium light structures, demolition of the four existing structures, trenching for new conduit, cable, and wire, and energizing the new lights by tying into the stadium’s existing power supply.
O’Connell subcontracted the eight new concrete foundations, each over twenty-feet deep, as well as the crane work for both setting and demolishing the light towers. The new light structures were installed, aligned, and powered-up in pairs prior to their single-tower counterparts being decommissioned and dismantled. The four existing light structures were cut apart and lowered to the ground where O’Connell technicians systematically disassembled each of the 108 light fixtures for proper recycling and disposal of their electronics, ballasts, lamps, and glass. The eight new light towers carried only 35 light fixtures each (totaling 152 fewer overall than the four original towers) while providing greater illumination at much higher energy efficiency ratings.
O’Connell executed its project work around active field and stadium events, coordinating the clearing of office personnel and athletes from the UB Stadium buildings and field during scheduled pole lifts. O’Connell and its subcontractors met all project obligations with zero reported safety incidents, beating our deadline to have the new lights up and operational for the first televised NCAA college football game of the season.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson Company, is a leading solutions provider for transfusion medicine and clinical laboratories worldwide specializing in the screening of human blood and various chemical testing. Rochester, New York is home to research headquarters for the company as well as one of Ortho’s three manufacturing operations. The company was established in 1944 and currently employs more than 2,500 worldwide. Headquartered in Raritan, New Jersey, Ortho maintains multiple facilities across Europe and Asia as well as in Canada and Australia.
O’Connell’s working relationship with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics dates back to the 1990s. The strength of our partnership stems from daily application of several O’Connell Core Values—Exceptional Customer Service, Ethics and Integrity, and Quality and Dependability.
Ortho employs full-time O’Connell electricians at each of their Rochester, New York facilities who provide day-to-day service and maintenance ranging from upkeep of electrical systems, fixtures, and equipment to upgrades and renovations, and who are on-call nights and weekends in case of emergencies.
Our project work for Ortho varies in size and scope often involving highly specialized applications. Over the last decade, we have literally been awarded hundreds of projects between Ortho’s two Rochester facilities ranging from several thousand to several hundred-thousand dollars.
A recent project involved relocation and hook-up of a highly specialized roll-coating machine from where it was designed, built, and tested in Neenah Wisconsin, to Rochester’s chemical diagnostics manufacturing facility. ‘72 Machine’ was custom-made for Ortho and can apply several layers of chemicals, in different ‘recipes’, on a film substrate allowing for a range of blood tests to be performed from a single strip. We flew our project foreman out to document dismantling of the machine to aid our technician’s back in New York with the reassembly. The range and diversity of O’Connell’s specialized services often gives us the competitive-edge when bidding private contracts. For this project we were able to leverage the expertise of two lead technicians from our Bridges Division who have broad experience and understanding of control wiring and schematics. Reassembly of 72 Machine called for on-the-job improvising and realignments to facilitate its permanent installation. O’Connell met all scheduling requirements set forth for our part of the project.
Through persistent, observable dedication and commitment to our customers, O’Connell Electric’s business relationships, like the one we have with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, continue to prosper and expand.
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. They own and operate nearly 2000 warehouse-designed stores worldwide that average 105,000 square feet of floor space. The company established its maintenance and store upgrade program to ensure each facility received the necessary regular maintenance, upgrades, and modernization services to keep them current and safe. Geographically, qualified contractors were screened and certified to perform maintenance, upgrade, and renovation services at The Home Depot stores. Additionally, contractors are on call for emergency service and repairs when such situations arise.
O’Connell service technicians have been providing The Home Depot stores with facilities maintenance, renovation, and emergency electrical services since 1997. We work at 30 stores across New York State from Albany to Buffalo, Binghamton to Massena. O’Connell services electrical, security, and communications systems at The Home Depot Stores providing scheduled service, upgrades and add-ons, and facilitating repairs, moves, and resets as needed.
Our technicians saved one store $30,000 by being able to repair a large oil-filled pad-mounted transformer that had been damaged by a forklift—something a less diversified contractor could not do—saving the company from having to buy a new one. When power was lost at another store, O’Connell technicians were on the scene in 45 minutes and had the situation diagnosed within an hour. We rerouted power through emergency backup systems to get the store quickly back online then repaired the problem affecting primary power in four hours time.
The scope of work and systems we address at The Home Depot stores is broad and varied involving installation and upgrade, modification and retrofit, removal and relocation, replacement and repair, and preventative electrical maintenance and testing of the following: service, conduit, cabling, and wire, lighting (interior & exterior), fire, life safety, surveillance, and security systems, switchgear and transformers, equipment and motor controls, standby generators, UPS, and transfer switches, temperature controls, variable frequency drives, and more. We also provide around-the-clock emergency service response across all systems and for power failures.
O’Connell has built a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship with The Home Depot through the consistent demonstration of excellence in customer service and craftsmanship combined with dependability and versatility, delivered in both a safe and professional manner.