Nik Wallenda’s Walk Across Niagara Falls: Cable Installation

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Project Overview: “How cool would that be to walk a wire across Niagara Falls!”  Those were the thoughts of a young Nik Wallenda the first time he visited the Falls with his family while his parents were performing in Buffalo. Nik admits that might sound strange to most people, but being part of the seventh generation of Wallendas who continue in the family tradition, “It’s sort of in the blood,” he says.

Fast forward about 25 years. To make his longtime dream a reality, serious lobbying of US and Canadian officials began twenty months before the walk actually took place. The New York State Assembly passed a bill that granted a onetime anti-stunting law exemption early on in the process, however Ontario Canada’s Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) didn’t grant their approval until four months before the event.

On June 15, 2012, Nik Wallenda became the first person to perform a tightrope skywalk over Niagara Falls since 1896. His successful crossing was performed in front of nearly 200,000 spectators and millions of television viewers across the world. “All my attention is focused right there on that wire and nothing else,” Nik stated. “It’s me and that wire in our own world.”

A key factor in Wallenda’s success rested on finding the right contractor to install the cable: experts who possessed the resources and equipment to rig and stabilize an 1800-foot span of wire rope without the use of guy-wires. He found what he was looking for in NECA Contractor O’Connell Electric and the IBEW Local 1249 tradesmen who work for them.


AAtitle testing

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Alabama/Louisiana Bridge Rehabilitation & Remote Controls

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Project Overview: Rail accounts for 19% of all statewide freight flows in Alabama. The Norfolk Southern Railway is a major U.S. freight railroad company that operates 21,500 route miles of track across 22 eastern states including more than 50% of Alabama’s Class I track.

In tandem with priorities and goals outlined in the Alabama Department of Transportation’s “Alabama Rail Plan”, Norfolk Southern’s modernization and expansion initiatives targeted three vertical lift bridges in Alabama and the Norfolk Southern Lake Pontchartrain Rolling Bascule Bridge in Louisiana, the longest rail bridge in the country at 5.8 miles, for upgrade, rehabilitation, and remote control operation. These four bridges are not only critical to Norfolk Southern’s transportation grid, they are integral to the management of Alabama’s nearly 1500 mile system of navigable inland waterways, part of a network connecting 24 states.


Albion Correctional Facility CCTV & Audio Monitoring Systems

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Project Overview: New York State Office of General Services put out a bid notice for installation of a comprehensive audio and video monitoring system at Albion Correctional Facility in Upstate, New York. With a history dating back to 1892, Albion is a medium security women’s prison run by the New York State Department of Correctional Services—one of six female facilities in the State.


American Rock Salt Mine Construction

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Project Overview: Underground salt mining has been a profitable industry in Western New York for more than 150 years. Over the decades, a network of active mining operations in the region grew to encompass an area larger than Manhattan. In the early 1990s, a chain reaction of flooding forced the shutdown of these mines. Several years later, American Rock Salt purchased the mineral rights for 10,000 acres of undisturbed underground salt reserves along with 200 surface acres near Mount Morris, New York, for the establishment of a new mine. From the initial ground breaking, American Rock Salt mine took more than three years to build and was the first underground salt mine constructed in the U.S. since the 1950s. Today, it is the largest single producer of salt in the country, supplying nearly 10% of the nation’s total salt needs.


Angelica Landfill Gas to Energy (LFGTE) Facility

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Project Overview: Casella Waste Systems owns and operates a methane gas-to-energy plant at their landfill operations in Angelica, New York—the company’s fourth LFGTE project. Energy East contracted with Casella to tap into this renewable energy power generating source. At full capacity the site is expected to produce 4.8 megawatts per hour of clean energy.


Anheuser-Busch Finishing Cellar Modernization Project

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Project Overview: Anheuser-Busch produces five of the top ten best selling beers in the country, including Bud Light and Budweiser, number one and two, respectively. Modernization of the finishing cellar at their Baldwinsville, New York brewery was part of a $182 million investment the beer-maker committed to US operations for the year. The Baldwinsville brewery began production in 1983 and is one of 12 breweries Anheuser-Busch operates across the country. Situated on 370 acres, their largest US site, the brewery has an annual production capacity of more than eight million barrels.


Bath VA Hospital Energy Conservation Measures Upgrade

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Project Overview: Founded in 1878, the Bath VA Medical Center is one of the first and oldest Veteran's Affairs facilities in the country.  The Hospital offers a full suite of comprehensive services including, primary care, mental health care, disease prevention, emergency and urgent care services, and consists of a domiciliary and community living center.

O'Connell Electric was contracted to complete the Energy Conservation Measures Upgrade Project for the Veteran's Affairs Hospital.  The facility is working towards reducing electricity usage and becoming more energy efficient.


Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Closed-Circuit Television Project

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Project Overview: Established in 1934, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) is responsible for the construction, rehabilitation, and modernization of low-income public housing within the City of Buffalo as well as all management and operations. Today, nearly 12,000 residents live among BMHA’s 27 developments. To help combat crime the Buffalo Police Department has established a dedicated Housing Unit consisting of 21 police officers to patrol, police, and manage security issues across all complexes. In turn, BMHA has committed to increase security measures which includes substantial investments in state-of-the-art closed-circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance systems at each site that will eventually be tied together at one centralized location.


Central Hudson Valley Transmission Line Pole Replacement

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Project Overview: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a utility serving approximately 300,000 electric and about 74,000 natural gas customers in an eight county area of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley, including the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the capital district at Albany.


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