By Sabina Mollot
When Hurricane Sandy sent 14 feet of river water gushing through the streets on Manhattan’s East Side, one of the buildings to get damaged most heavily was the VA Medical Center.
As a result of the water damage, the federal facility remained closed for the next six months.
But soon, as part of a $207 million hurricane repair and restoration project, the building will be protected from future flooding thanks to a wall that will be 14.5 feet tall at its highest point.
Preparations for the project have already begun with the placement of temporary fencing on the east side of the building and the closing of a parking lane on the north side of the property at 25th Street.
The s“floodwall protection system,” is expected to be completed in October, according to Mike Bozeman, the program manager of major projects at the VA’s Manhattan campus. It will include floodgates, a secant wall providing seepage cutoff, internal stormwater piping and storage, utility modifications and internal drainage area pump stations.
The wall was designed by New York-based architecture firm HDR.
Funding for the wall was provided by federal allocations. Out of the $207 million that was given to the hospital, $23,830,000 is going towards the wall.
Other restoration and improvement projects either ongoing or planned include moving the hospital’s generators to a higher floor, renovation of the entire ground floor and the building of a new sterilization processing area.
Contractors, of Bronx-based firm Civetta, are expected to implement a dust control plan.