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Albany New York’s Empire State Plaza is a ninety-eight acre interconnected state governmental complex containing ten distinctive office buildings, including the marble-clad forty-four story Corning Tower, the tallest building in the state outside of New York City. The Plaza was constructed between 1960 and 1976 at a total cost of $1.7 billion. The Plaza is on the New York State Office of General Services’ (NYSOGS) short list for administering a $73.5 million capital program to upgrade and modernize electrical and mechanical systems at select state facilities across New York.
As part of the NYSOGS capital program, O’Connell was awarded a $1.3 million contract to perform upgrades and testing to Empire State Plaza’s main substation. O’Connell has been awarded several contracts under the OGS program.
The primary task for this project involved removal of the substation’s original transformer, installed 45 years earlier, and replacing it with a new 34.5kV unit. The project took on an added element of challenge with the substation vault located several stories underground within the Plaza. O’Connell employed the use of 600-ton crane to move and place each of the transformers.
O’Connell provided temporary power for the project and performed systems testing. The transformer switchout was scheduled over a weekend to help minimize impact on Plaza functionality as well as on busy Capital District traffic and was carried out in one day. Through efficient project management and oversight by O’Connell, the substation upgrades were seamless to the 13,000 state employees who work across the complex, to businesses operating within the Plaza’s Concourse, and to the public. In the face of numerous challenges encountered in a short project window, all work was performed effectively, efficiently, and without a safety incident.