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Crow nears completion on major VA project.

Crow Construction Company, in its 151st year, announced that it has begun the final phase of the Veteran's Administration Medical Center project in Manhattan.

This massive $85 million project, which is the first to be undertaken in accordance with Congress' 1988 Prompt Payment Act, will greatly improve the quality of outpatient healthcare available to veterans in the New York metropolitan area.

The project, located on First Avenue between East 23rd and 25th Streets, involves the construction of a new 370,000- square-foot out-patient/diagnostic pavilion that will include modern, state-of-the-art psychiatrict, outpatient facilities, operating room recovery areas, and MRI, ultrasound, radiology, audiology and diagnostic units. The new facility will be connected to the existing main hospital building via an elevated steel and glass atrium.

On the same site, Crow recently completed the construction of a 40,000- square-foot, two-story addition and new main entrance on East 22rd Street as well as the renovation of the main hospital building to create a new pedestrian and vehicular access driveway, reception/waiting area and elevators.

"The project offers some significant challenges," explained Eugene T. Cleary, construction manager, Crow Construction Company. "The scope of the job is unusual because of the tremendous amount of state-of-the-art equipment that is being installed throughout the facility. We had to study each room individually in order to make sure that we were meeting all specific requirements."

The logistics of the project have been further complicated by the fact that the VA Hospital has remained in full operation since construction began. "Undertaking a project of this size without interrupting the day-to-day operations of the hospital has been a challenge in itself. Keeping the hospital open during construction has necessitated the relocation of several entrances as well as the construction of several complex temporary walkways," said Cleary.

For example, in order to keep the hospital's emergency deparment in full operation, Crow had to construct a temporary structure in order to relocate the emergency room's entrance from First Avenue to East 25th Street for the duration of the project.

In addition to representing a major construction challenge, the VA Hospital project is historically significant because of the fact that it is the first such project to be undertaken in accordance with the federal government's Prompt Payment Act. Through this 1988 Congressional act, contractors working on projects for federal agencies are ensured 100 percent immediate payment for their work with no retention upon successful completion of the work.

The Promt Payment Act has played a main role in keeping the project on schedule. Acting as a major incentive for subcontractors to complete their work on time, this legislation worked to counter some potentially major setbacks encountered by Crow.

According to Douglas E. Johansen, project manager, Crow Construction Company, a number of problems came up after crews broke ground. The most significant of which were the presence of a rock formation and a large sewer line under the site and the incursion of river muck from the East River into the foundation.

Heavy rains in the spring of 1989 and severe cold during the following winter also contributed to the difficulty of the project.
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Title Annotation:Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Crow Construction Co.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 22, 1991
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