NYC Firehouse Foundation Fix

The Customer

A busy New York City Firehouse faced cracking and settling foundation in their engine’s apparatus bays. Previous repair methods proved to be unsuccessful- they needed some help for putting out this fire, and fast!

The FDNY serves the five boroughs of New York City and includes 255 fire stations. Each fire station’s differences are related to the size of the firefighting apparatus housed within it and the facility’s location, which is largely driven by the need to minimize response time. The FDNY Engine Companies are tasked with securing a water supply and extinguishing a fire while the FDNY Ladder Companies conduct search and rescue, forcible entry, and ventilation at the scene of a fire.

The Borough of Brooklyn is home to 65 Engine Companies, 39 Truck Companies, and one Rescue Company quartered in 69 Firehouses. One of those firehouses is FDNY’s Engine Company 229 and Ladder Company 146 located on the corner of Richardson and Leonard Street. The building that’s home to this group of firefighters is more than 100 years old. Over time, life in a bustling, ever-changing, city environment had taken a toll on the foundation of the building and previous attempts to repair the area were unsuccessful. The firehouse was in need of an effective solution to their soil problem that would give them the lasting results they hoped for and keep the firehouse operational.

The Challenge

The 100-year-old firehouse had trouble for many years with their foundation settling and cracking in the apparatus bays where the fire engines are parked.

They had tried to repair the troubled area previously through the “rip and replace” method of removing the existing concrete and re-pouring with new concrete. However, the building found itself suffering from the same issues. The firehouse was in need of a solution that addressed the source of the foundation problem which was the weak soil below the foundation. Most importantly they needed something that would cause minimal interruption to daily operations.

The Solution

To help stabilize the foundation of the apparatus bays, URETEK was called in. URETEK worked with Cameron Engineering, ZHL Group Contracting, and FDNY’s project manager to prepare a plan for stabilizing the subsoil through utilizing The URETEK Deep Injection™ Process.

This process involves injecting URETEK’s expanding structural polymer at different depths, as the polymer expands it creates an area of densification, which compacts and densifies the adjacent soils to improve the load bearing capacity of the soils.

Since the firehouse has to be operational 24/7 with no downtime, URETEK needed to work quickly and efficiently.

To do this, the firehouse moved one fire engine out of its bay while the crew worked on that side. When it was time to work on the second bay, they simply switched sides.


URETEK successfully stabilized the firehouse in two days time, with zero downtime to firehouse operations.

Three main results were achieved during the repair process:

1) The soil under the foundation was stabilized
2) Load bearing capacity was increased
3) The concrete slab was leveled back in place.

It’s safe to say, the firehouse finally found the perfect solution to put out their foundation fire!