| Rensselaer Rail
OWNER: Capital District Transportation Authority,
ARCHITECT: Stracher-Roth Gilmore, Schenectady, NY
ARCHITECT/ENGINEER: Vollmer Associates, NYC
STRUCUTRAL ENGINEER: Ryan-Biggs Associates, Troy,
MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING ENGINEER: Sage
/Engineering Associates, Albany, NY
RAILROAD PLATFORM, TRACK & SITE ENGINERS: Smith
& Mahoney, Albany, NY
ROOFING CONTRACTOR: WeatherGuard Roofing Co. Schenectady,
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: U.W. Marx/Bovis, a joint venture,
Improving New York's capital district as a transportation
hub, the Rensselaer Rail Station now boasts a new, $53 million,
four-story, 67,000-sq.-ft. station with a 635-car parking
garage and a new connecting bridge spanning the railroad track.
The bridge, which was built under a separate $4.5 million
contract, is 34-ft.-wide and 125-ft. long with enclosed escalators,
stairs and elevator access to both platforms. It was designed
to serve as an extension of the station's main concourse and
provides barrier-free access from a vehicular drop-off area
to the island platforms.
In addition, another piece of the building comes out from
the front of the building and serves as a passenger loading
structure and houses the escalators, elevators and 500-ft.-long
One of the project's most difficult construction tasks was
building the station passaround over existing railroad tracks.
To accomplish this task, Tracks were relocated and precast
concrete members were used to span 110-ft. over the tracks.
In addition, the project required a floor structure that had
to be installed in sections, almost like a puzzle. To build
a precast concrete structure over the tracks required a phased
construction schedule that included working at night and working
around a 26-train schedule on a daily basis.
Positioning the precast concrete over the railroad tracks
became a coordination issue. The solution was developing and
maintaining a close working relationship with the railroads
and to monitor the train schedules to effectuate the installation
of the platforms using overhead cranes.
The phased schedule was also used for the construction of
the parking garage, the station and the bridge.
The installation of 30,000-sq.-ft. of copper roofing and siding
on eight roof areas was also difficult. The copper roofing
and siding had to be installed using mechanically fastened
2.5-in. polyisocyanurate insulation and 0.5-in. plywood on
to the metal deck. To meet the schedule for the roof, the
roofing contractor used 10-person crews to complete the work
in six months.
Installation of the station's 3-ton, handcrafted copper dome
was also a challenge. It had to be hosted to the top of the
station by crane and guided into place by a three-ember crew
before it could be secured to the building.
"This difficult project," the jury said, "required
that work be performed while the station remained operational.
The station will serve as an important link to New York's