Providing quick-response engineering design and construction oversight services to convert a closed hospital in East Orange, New Jersey
Submitted by Tetra Tech
Tetra Tech provided engineering design and construction oversight services on a quick-response project managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Philadelphia District, to convert a closed and partially abandoned hospital into a 250-bed facility to receive non-acute COVID-19 patients in East Orange, New Jersey.
Tetra Tech had its team on-site within 12 hours after receiving the notice to proceed, drawing on a group of specialized design engineers and construction management professionals from across the company. The Tetra Tech team included professionals from the Cutting Edge Group and Archstone Builders. The team designed and installed necessary infrastructure including new patient care rooms, water and sanitation system upgrades, emergency power and fire protection systems, and wireless communication networks for the 6-story building. Up to 200 staff executed the work on site, working in teams 24 hours a day.
Prior to initiating work on-site, Tetra Tech developed a specific COVID-19 infectious disease and preparedness plan. The Tetra Tech team employed dedicated crews on-site to disinfect high-touch surfaces, required Personal Protective Equipment including masks for all personnel, maintained social distancing requirements, and used infrared thermometers to take the temperature of personnel entering the site. The Tetra Tech team worked approximately 25,000 field hours to complete the project without a single safety incident, and none of the nearly 300 project participants contracted the COVID-19 virus to date.
Tetra Tech led briefings twice a day with the USACE Philadelphia District, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Department of Health, University Hospitals, and East Orange General Hospital to identify hospital needs and review the integrated design and construction progress.
Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the USACE, visited the project site and highlighted several patient care best management practices, such as a wireless emergency nurse call system, which operates on a self-contained radio frequency, that the USACE plans to implement on future COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility projects. The facility is began treating COVID-19 patients in May 2020.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was able to quickly access Tetra Tech’s engineering design and construction management services by working through one of our small disadvantaged business partners, the Cutting Edge Group,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO. “We rapidly mobilized our in-house experts and leveraged our existing relationships with the engineering and construction community to deliver the personnel needed to perform the work on an accelerated timeline. We will continue to provide our clients with the technology, tools, and innovative solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support their top business priorities.”
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