October 25, 2016

rest-stop.pngLI Rest Stop Ready to Welcome the World

After four months of intensive work, oppressive heat, numerous change orders, and double shifts, the men and women of LICA member Peter Scalamandre & Sons Inc. (PSSI) - and their many subcontractors - can finally get some rest. And thanks to their efforts, they can rest in style at the flagship LI Welcome Center which they recently completed between eastbound LIE exits 51 and 52.

As mandated by the $20+ million best value contract (NYSDOT #D263143), this high-profile project came with an October 1 delivery date, giving PSSI General Superintendent Tom Hayes and the Scalamandre team less than five months to go from digging dirt to “done,” under the watchful eye of many DOT officials including Executive Deputy Commissioner Phil Eng, Supervisor of Special Projects Raymond Weixler, and Justin Leuschner, EIC, with several visits from Governor Cuomo himself. Despite change orders and hundreds of last-minute punch list items, Scalamandre’s team delivered an official temporary Certificate of Occupancy to the Governor’s team on October 1, as promised. The Welcome Center was opened to the public in a ceremony held on October 20th, led by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and other regional elected officials.

For those who drive by it every day on the LIE, the new LI Welcome Center (NYSDOT #D263143, 2022490) seems to have appeared in fast-forwarded time-lapsed photography. The transformation from a trashy truck stop to a state-of-the-art rest stop has been nothing short of amazing. Even at 55 mph you can easily see some of the many Long Island themed design accents – from the mini Montauk lighthouse, to real Coast Guard buoys and the custom cut New York State-shaped weather vane. Environmentalists will love the eco-friendly solar LED lighting in the parking lots, as well as charging stations for electric vehicles.

Up close, the facilities and attention to design are even more impressive. The entrance boasts a “hall of fame” walkway with pavers and plaques acknowledging famous Long Islanders – from Billy Joel to Walt Whitman. Inside, the huge mosaic floor highlights some of the Island’s many attractions, while warming weary travelers’ feet with radiant heat flooring. Interactive visitor maps and large video screens highlight the best Long Island has to offer, as you sit beneath a stunning blue-green glass sea lighting fixture. And of course, there are great local foods to sample at the Taste NY concession. The most important pit-stop amenity – the rest rooms – are bright, clean and just as beautiful. With both Suffolk County and NY State Police offices onsite, plus 24-hour Inform monitoring, we hope the facility will remain unscathed over the years.

Visitors from across the country will surely see the results of all the hard work and thousands of man-hours logged by Scalamandre & Sons and other LICA subcontractors, suppliers and associate members including: Pratt Brothers, Island Pavement Cutting, Able Equipment Rental, Ponderosa Fence, Long Island Cesspool, Watral Brothers, Bancker Construction, Johnson Electric, Contractor’s Layout, Safety Marking and Lockwood, Kessler & Bartlett Consulting Engineers, among others. But only Tom Hayes and the hundreds of Long Island contractors who worked on this project will truly appreciate the effort that went into it. LICA is proud that one of our longest-standing members is responsible for giving visitors a truly grand Long Island welcome!

Scalamandre thanks everyone who worked tirelessly to ensure the center was completed on time. In particular, Tom Hayes recognizes the dedication of his core team, including: Eric Read, VP of Operations; Jim Dergin, Project Manager; Max Rodriguez, Carpenter Superintendent; Wayne Smith, Safety Director and Alberto Santiago, Office Engineer for their efforts and leadership.

Click on the links to see more photos of the Welcome Center nearing completion and the opening ceremony.

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