Services: Civil | Categories: Excavation/SOE/Foundation, Site Work | Location: New York Metro

WCS NY Aquarium Restoration Project

Brooklyn, NY

Turner Construction

Contract Value:
$18.7 Million

Project Dates:
2017 to 2021

  • Excavation using Brokk – inside buildings, under boardwalk and obstruction removal
  • Sump pit redesign and dewatering
  • Electrical Replacement: new elevated switchgear/transformer platform, underground duct bank
  • Flood Mitigation, flood wall foundations


Hurricane Sandy caused permanent damage to the Aquarium’s electrical transformers and distribution system, to its mechanical equipment, as well as to its pumps and motors that operate critical life support systems for the aquatic life. Posillico was brought in to provide site-wide electrical replacement including switchgear, transformer platforms, underground duct banks and electrical manhole installation. Posillico’s scope of work also included flood mitigation with flood wall foundations with grade beams and piers for steel platforms, as well as restoration of existing buildings with sump pit installation, backwater valve installation and slab drainage repair.


This project presented many safety challenges, from working in an active visitor attraction with children and animals to working around high voltage equipment and having multiple work areas operating simultaneously. In addition, unforeseen obstructions and unreliable as-builts rendered traditional excavation methods dangerous. The Posillico team also had to contend with contaminated hazardous soil and tidal effect hindering the dewatering of deep sump pits, while sharing the small construction site with multiple other subcontractors performing their work as well.


Posillico leveraged its robust Safety training and experience to set protocols for this project that would always keep workers and visitors safe. Work hours were altered to minimize visitor interaction. The purchase of utility locating equipment reduced labor cost for excavation and the use of vacuum truck for underground electrical trenching allowed for faster and safer excavation around existing utilities. Design input as well as diligent coordination with all stakeholders and other trades alleviated hold points allowing Posillico to operate in a continuous workflow, increasing efficiency, safety, and production.