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Sunbelt Rentals Shores Up the Core of the Big Apple

The office tower at 151 West 42nd Street is one of the most recognized buildings in the world. Built in 1999 as the country’s first green skyscraper, the Durst Organization’s building has been featured in countless films and cityscapes. But after 20 years, the skyscraper needed renovation.

A $140 million program included a new entrance and lobby, amenity floor, and state-of-the-art building upgrades. Ensuring the safety of citizens and visitors to the city required installation of a heavy-duty pedestrian bridge/overhead protection. The need became urgent went the customer moved up the schedule.

The scramble for material

King Hoist & Scaffold needed towers that could support significant loads. The firm could not rely only on typical sidewalk bridge material, because loading docks on 43rd street required large spans to move delivery vehicles in and out and throngs of pedestrians crowd 42nd street.

Cory Burgin, senior engineer with the Sunbelt Rentals Engineering Design Solutions Department, came up with preliminary drawings that intermingled MASS 25 and MASS 50 legs and props with the scaffolding company’s typical sidewalk bridge material. By working together, the client’s expediting engineering company and the Sunbelt Rentals Operations team were able to pull permits quickly while staff at our New Jersey store made the appropriate substitutions in material required to meet the schedule.

Support for heavy loads

MASS 25 towers can support 76,000 pounds per leg with a compact 7” square section, and MASS 50 can support 135,000 pounds with an almost 10” section. Although these off-the-shelf components available in various standard lengths provide maximum flexibility, Sunbelt Rentals didn’t have certain pieces on hand due to the accelerated time frame. The team needed to puzzle out how to achieve the high load capacities and low frame deflections required using the material on hand.

Due to the need to construct the bridges in one of the busiest locations on earth, much of the work was done at night. Sunbelt Rentals eased the installation by assembling the MASS 50 props and shims in the yard and shipping them to the client as one piece.  

Spotlight on Sunbelt Rentals

The quick turn on engineering and equipment delivery and the job service more than satisfied the customer. Cory Burgin designed the towers to ensure appropriate support and worked with the customer to obtain the permits on time. Mary Mehalshick, inside sales representative, handled sourcing of parts and material, contracting, and execution of the project. Store Manager Tyrone Colon and the operations team managed assembly and delivery, which allowed installation to proceed as smoothly as possible. 

The towers ultimately stood for eight months, protecting passers-by and vehicles at one of the world’s most visited landmarks from construction taking place right over their heads.