THE ENGINEERING REPORT ON THE 76TH STREET SIDEWALK VAULT

For several weeks during the summer we reported on projects that had been completed in the church, community center, rectory and school this year. We also reported a situation of great concern: the repair of the 76th street sidewalk vault. The vault protects the mechanisms essential to the operation of the entire church. We engaged the Salamon Engineering Group to evaluate the structural integrity of the vault and to direct us in any action that needs to be taken.

The following report has been sent to several contracting companies for proposals. We spoke with the contractors when they came to inspect the vault and were given off-the-cuff guesstimates ranging between $200,000 and $250,000. It will take a few weeks, however, to receive the final bids. When they come in we will immediately share them with you.

Actual work on the sidewalk vault is a time challenge. Because of the need for city permits and the complexity of removing and replacing the entire sidewalk, the project is estimated to take six to seven months. That would mean we would need to begin work in April 2019. This puts tremendous pressure on us to begin a campaign to raise funds for this very important project soon. It cannot be ignored for reasons of safety and for the prevention of costly interior damage.

We will speak more about the campaign at a later date. But for now, we are asking that you consider sup- porting the project with a donation before the end of this year and/or 2019. We would hesitate to begin the work without half the funds necessary in hand.

Please read the engineer’s report carefully. We will share pictures of the vault’s condition in future Bulletins.

Observation:

An engineering inspection was made of the sidewalk vault area beneath the subject building to access the water infiltration situation. The following was found:

The ceiling of the vault is made of concrete with supporting steel beams. It was noted that the concrete encasement around the beams have begun to crack and spall off. It was noted that the exposed steel beams, supporting the sidewalk, show signs of corrosion.

It was noted that the vault concrete ceiling show signs of efflorescent with exposed corroded rebar.

There is a concrete block wall along the exterior (street facing) wall. This wall was found to be wet with the block wall eroding on its interior side.

There was an opening in this wall for an abandoned pipe valve. On inspection the interior of the concrete block was found to be wet as well as the soil behind the wall.

An inspection of the sidewalk above this vault area revealed that the curb is situated directly above the cellar block wall. It was further noted that there was standing water and wet asphalt along the street side of the curb while the rest of the street was dry.

It was reported that during heavy rain, water enters the cellar thru an unused electric end box.

 Conclusion:

It appears that due to water infiltration the integrity of the concrete sidewalk and associated internal rebar have deteriorated to a point that the concrete is cracking, and the rebar and steel beams are corroding.

It appears that there is insufficient or no flashing between the sidewalk lower bearing slab and the upper wearing slab as well as along the street curb.

This situation will exponentially worsen with inclement weather.

It appears that there is insufficient or no water-proofing between the street side electric transformer box and the interior end box.

Recommendations:

  1. The following recommendations are offered.
    2. The concrete sidewalk should be removed including all corroded structural steel supports
    3. New concrete sidewalk should be installed with adequate waterproofing to allow the rainwater to be drained to the street
    4. Con Edison should be contacted to verify that the incoming conduit had been properly sealed
    5. That this Engineer be commissioned to proceed to prepare and file plans for the replacement of the sidewalk vault, concrete sidewalk associated curb.