• Corporate HQ, NY
  • Melville, NY
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Ossining, NY
  • Mount Laurel, NJ


Cut Building Inspection Costs, Not Corners

SVP Paul Hoffmann: “The selection process should include requiring a list of available inspectors, and it should be a requirement that multi-certified inspectors are utilized whenever possible.” Read more from our Special Inspections lead as he stresses our commitment to inspections & to the social, economic and environmental condition of a construction project: https://www.bisnow.com/new-york/news/construction-development/cut-building-inspection-costs-not-corners-72199

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ACE Students Prep for Presentation Night

Our ACE Mentor Program high school students are pictured here after a long day of work! These students and the HAKS mentors got together recently to start work on their ACE Final Project, a top-secret assignment that will be part of a public presentation in May where they will display and describe their work. After working with these young engineers, it is clear they have the makings of a special bunch. Looking forward to Presentation Night!

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HAKS and MTA Begin Work on Enhanced Station Initiative Program

Governor Andrew Cuomo's plans to bring big changes to the city’s subway system are happening and HAKS is proud to be a part of it! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has since announced that the first set of stations to receive a facelift will be three stations along the R line in Brooklyn, New York. We are providing architectural and engineering design services to the design-build joint venture for the rehabilitation of these stations as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative Program, spearheaded by MTA New York City Transit. We welcome this opportunity, which represents the convergence of two industry trends: the continuing regional focus on the upgrade of transportation infrastructure and employment of the design-build methodology as a vehicle for rapid, high-quality project delivery.

“These first three stations to be renovated represent the start of a new age for our subway system,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. The future of subway travel is indeed a bright one. Read more about the project on Curbed NY: http://ny.curbed.com/2017/3/22/15028712/mta-subway-station-closures-renovations

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Say Goodbye, Tollbooths!

Say goodbye, tollbooths! If you take a look up as you leave the Hugh L Carey Tunnel, a series of cameras and license plate readers are suspended on these metal gantries. The system records cars that pass by without drivers having to slow down or pass through a booth. These cashless systems are replacing tollbooths all over the City, from the Triborough Bridge and the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge this summer and the Throgs Neck Bridge and Bronx–Whitestone Bridge in the fall.

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Alberto Villaman, P.E. Named President of HAKS

Please join us in congratulating, Alberto Villaman, P.E., the new president of HAKS! Villaman will oversee the firm’s operations in its 15 corporate offices throughout the U.S., and international offices in India and Bahrain. The firm’s practice areas include engineering design, construction management/inspection, architecture/facilities, environmental, and surveying and mapping.

Villaman joined HAKS in 2000 after working with NYSDOT for 12 years, and rose through the ranks in a variety of management roles, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Head of the Construction Inspection Department. At HAKS he has managed some of the metropolitan area’s largest infrastructure improvement projects, including the NYCDOT design-build rehabilitation of the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, the NYSDOT Gowanus Expressway Emergency Repair and ConnDOT’s I-95 Interchange 14.
HAKS founder, Chairman and CEO Husam Ahmad heartily endorses Villaman’s appointment. “Alberto brings a unique ability to listen, collaborate and communicate, is confident yet humble, and has demonstrated exceptional skills in managing large, complex projects.”

Villaman has contributed to HAKS’ extraordinary growth over the past 17 years, expanding from a 100-member operation in the New York metropolitan area. He attributes the firm’s success to its strict adherence to quality standards and service to the public: “Over the years we’ve defined processes and put procedures in place to govern and assure a quality product. We’re entrusted with the public safety and want to make sure that projects achieve their goals and last for their intended duration.”

Ahmad adds, “Alberto embodies HAKS’ commitment to quality and safety. We have a shared vision for our next growth phase, aiming to expand our presence geographically and provide jobs for 1,500 employees worldwide.

Learn more about this Executive Move here: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/resources/executive-moves/details/3/3449007


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Concrete Industry Board Award of Merit for Spring Street Salt Shed

The Spring Street Salt Shed Project Team was recognized at the 55th Annual Concrete Industry Board (CIB) Roger H. Corbetta Awards held at Marina del Rey Caterers on November 9th. The team, which included our own SVP Paul Hoffmann, VP Paul Zoltanetzky, PMs Lisseth Reyes, Abe Mourad and others from our Special Inspections group, received the 2016 CIB Award of Merit in the Public Works category. Congratulations to the team and thanks to all who made this possible.

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Two Sister Bridges Open in Staten Island

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the opening of the northbound Hylan Boulevard Bridge this past weekend! We are HAKS Proud to have contributed to this major route for cars, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses and pedestrians: https://lnkd.in/d2V_uTp. The northbound bridge, part of a $10 million project to reconstruct both northbound and southbound bridges, will open to traffic one month ahead of schedule. The southbound bridge was also completed ahead of schedule in August 2016. Find out more about the completion and opening of the two sister bridges over the Staten Island Expressway here: https://lnkd.in/dizYBBh

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Rockaway Beach’s Community Development Institute

More classrooms anyone? Rockaway Beach’s Community Development Institute offers a Head Start program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition and parental involvement services to low-income children and their families. It is being renovated to accommodate a new Early Head Start program & in one of our most recent projects, we are managing its renovation.

Rehabilitation of the four-story, 27,000-square-foot facility entails increasing the number of classrooms; reconfiguring bathrooms to make them ADA-compliant; and ensuring that the facility is wet flood-proof. We are utilizing a phased approach to the project so the organization can carry out its early childhood development programs uninterrupted while the renovations proceed.

The project is currently underway and we are looking forward to its completion in 2017!

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HAKS & ACE Take the NY Times Challenge

Transitioning from the holidays back into the school mindset is always a challenge, so we have partnered with the ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York, Inc. to offer students a fun team project for the first team meeting back after the holiday break. The project asks the teams to construct a building using only a Sunday The New York Times newspaper and one roll of Scotch Tape! Our team, HAKS Team 45, worked diligently producing the various collages pictured here. Our final product has been posted on our team’s Instagram account, “acenyteam45”.

If you have Instagram, please look for our page & like our post! Voting opened on January 13th & will remain open until January 20th. The winners will be announced on January 24th so we encourage you to find our page and get your votes in. You can also follow the contest on Instagram using #ACENYTimesChallenge. Stay tuned! https://www.facebook.com/HAKSgroup/posts/1275263529186337

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John F. Kennedy International Airport Runway Repair/Restoration

John F. Kennedy International Airport serves more than 54 million passengers annually, and is critical to the economy of the bi-state region. As part of its commitment to enhance safety and reduce passenger inconvenience, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey initiated a $400 million restoration of Runway 4L-22R, a northeast-southwest parallel runway on the eastern side of JFK Airport. Improvements included widening the runway from 150 to 200 feet to accommodate the world’s largest passenger aircraft and construction of a high-speed taxiway to enable planes to land and take off on the runway with greater frequency. In addition to improved efficiency, the new aircraft will reduce aircraft noise impacts to surrounding communities.

HAKS’ Special Inspection Agency inspected the concrete base of the runway, which replaced asphalt for its increased durability and longer lifespan. Approximately six inches of asphalt was milled from the current runway surface and replaced with approximately two inches of asphalt and 18 inches of concrete. The completed runway required 220,000 tons of concrete—approximately 2,300 yards of which were poured every night. HAKS performed air and slump tests, unit weight testing, and cast beam molds that were delivered to a laboratory to test for required strength. The project team worked from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am, six to seven days a week.

The complex project was performed in three stages so that three runways were operational at all times. A temporary concrete plant was located on site to minimize traffic and emissions caused by concrete trucks traveling through nearby highways.

In a September 28, 2015 press release, the Port Authority announced the resumption of flights on the runway. Commented Aviation Director Thomas Bosco, “With cooperation from our airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration, the past six months of continuous work on Runway 4L-22R will prove to pay huge dividends in terms of operational safety and efficiency over the coming decades at JFK.”

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Investing in Our Future, One Student at a Time

Corporate responsibility is an integral component of HAKS’ core values and is practiced by the company as a whole and individually by its employees. It is reflected in such efforts as giving deserving students the boost they need to become future engineers and architects. From mentoring NYC high school students under the ACE Mentor Program, participating in the PENCIL partnership with neighborhood public schools, to holding our annual Summer Internship Program comprising both high school and college students, such commitments have a ripple effect.

Founded in New York City in 1995, ACE is the fastest-growing mentoring program in the building industry, operating in more than 40 states and 200 cities across the nation. HAKS has been a long-time supporter of the program, with individual employees volunteering as mentors. This year, we are proud to have formed our own mentoring team and are eager to share our industry knowledge with deserving students in the Greater New York City area.

We have assembled a HAKS team of 12 mentors from various disciplines led by Nicholas Dandolos and Khaled Husein, Vice Presidents in our Construction Management department. We are partnering with the Bronx Design and Construction Academy, and have 25 BDCA students on our team. In addition to acquiring new skills, outstanding seniors are eligible for ACE scholarships that provide some financial support while in college, and students make valuable industry contacts for future employment.

Furthermore, from mid-May through the end of August, HAKS holds its annual Internship Program in which we provide deserving youth with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an office environment.

This year, we had a heavy intern presence, comprising of both high school and college students. In addition to hiring interns directly from colleges since 2005, HAKS has been partnering with the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) Summer Internship Program (SIP) to assist in student recruitment. We have continued our commitment and volunteered as hosts every year since. The majority of interns go on to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, business, and information technology. These students participate in staff meetings and on-the-job training and are assigned program supervisors who monitor their performance through bi-weekly meetings between the interns and their supervisors. Interns who successfully complete the six-week program receive high school credit.

For the first time this year, we also teamed with the New York City Ladders for Leaders, a program launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to expose motivated high school and college students to professional career opportunities while providing them with resources to complete their education. In an effort to engage with our youth and develop our communities, HAKS has partnered with Ladders for Leaders to provide interns with meaningful and supervised work experiences that include special projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities, client meetings, department-wide activities, and networking opportunities.

Finally, HAKS kicked off National Engineers Week (February 22-28) by participating in a day of fun and learning with the students of PS/IS 499, the Queens College School of Math, Science and Technology. We once again collaborated with the New York City PENCIL Partnership to bring engineering principles directly to public school students with an even larger group of volunteers than in previous years.  Founded in 1995, the PENCIL Partnership enables students to interact with the business community and apply classroom lessons to real-life situations.

Alberto Villaman, P.E., Executive Vice President, head of the Construction Inspection Group, coordinated the fair with the assistance of Francine Fyffe and Reema Albahri and 14 volunteer “teachers” who oversaw the stations in the school gymnasium.

As students rotated every 15 minutes from station to station, they were challenged with hands-on activities that involved building various structures—a gumdrop dome, a paper bridge, and an aluminum boat—and modifying their designs to withstand loads in the form of pennies or wooden blocks.

The event ended on a high note with our volunteers receiving positive feedback from the students, many of whom exhibited a good grasp of engineering principles and their application to the day’s activities.  They thanked us for “making science even more fun than it already is.”

While such efforts are fulfilling, it is also an investment in our industry that will reap rewards well into the future. 




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FES Pinellas Chapter Salutes Paul Cavota, P.E.

Our very own Paul Cavota, P.E., and his illustrious career accomplishments were featured in the Florida Engineering Society’s (FES) June/July 2015 Newsletter, which highlights his many successes as an outstanding engineer, educator and FES member. A consistent theme in Paul’s career has been an insistence on safety and quality construction, which he believes are the foundations of every successful project. The best way to achieve this, according to Paul, is through partnering, a management approach that he has practiced throughout his career.

Paul joined the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in 1959 and not long after entered OCS and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Civil Engineering Corps of the U.S. Navy. He continued in the U.S. Navy Reserves, serving for 20 years before retiring with full honors. Paul returned to NYSDOT, working for over 30 years in Regions 10 and 11. His last assignment with NYSDOT was in 1989 as Engineer-in-Charge/Area Supervisor of the $108 million Meeker Viaduct Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, at the time the largest construction contract ever let by the agency.

Paul joined HAKS in 1999, and went on to serve as Senior Vice President for 16 years, during which time the company grew from 125 employees to more than 600. He oversaw approximately 200 employees in New York and helped the company expand its presence by opening a branch office in Palm Harbor, Florida. One of Paul’s major accomplishments was as CM of the $204 million Cross Bronx-Bruckner Expressway Interchange Rehabilitation project, which began in 1999 and was completed one year ahead of schedule with no claims by the contractor. Paul went on to manage other high-profile projects with a total construction cost in excess of $1 billion. Many of these projects won industry awards for construction management, concrete construction and/or partnering.

His colleagues at HAKS may not know that Paul taught night school for more than 35 years at Nassau Community College, where he was a professor of civil engineering. He is active in the FES MATHCOUNTS program, which prepares students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Alberto Villaman Profiled in Hispanic Executive Magazine

Hispanic Executive profiles individuals at the top of their respective fields.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the March/April issue has chosen to highlight the career of Alberto Villaman, P.E.  The article traces his beginnings growing up in Brooklyn to his current position as HAKS Senior Vice President of the Construction Inspection group, with oversight on some of New York’s most complex and pioneering projects.  Prior to joining HAKS, Alberto worked for the New York State Department of Transportation, where one of his earliest projects was rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge. What comes through in the article is his strong belief in the importance of collaborating with stakeholders and consideration of the end user—the public. To read about the accomplishments of this consummate engineer, visit Driving Change

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Investigation/Monitoring of Gold Star Memorial Bridge

This prototype study for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) was recognized with a 2015 ACEC New York Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence as well as a 2015 ACEC Connecticut Engineering Excellence Award. The Gold Star Memorial Bridge—a pair of steel deck truss bridges—carries I-95 over the Thames River between Groton and New London, Connecticut. The bridge is the largest structure in the state and, by far, the longest bridge with 1 million square feet of deck area consisting of 22 deck truss spans totaling 1.2 miles in length. It supports five traffic lanes in each direction that accommodate an average of 117,000 vehicles per day.

After an inspection revealed that the rocker bearings supporting the steel deck truss had very little, if any, movement, HAKS evaluated the bearings and provided recommendations for replacing them on a fast-track schedule. The project required analysis of hundreds of thousands of data points collected over a five-month period from 70 sensors (65 fiber optic strain gages and five fiber optic accelerometers) strategically placed on the structure. Data from the sensors were analyzed across a variety of methods, including linear regression analysis.

The size and unique truss geometry of the bridge required selecting and installing gages and accelerometers on a scale not typically undertaken for such structures. The three main challenges to overcome were installing sensors and equipment in the appropriate locations, analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points (165,002 records), and creating a structural model to accurately represent real-world conditions of the bearings.

HAKS monitored strains in representative truss members, including the fracture-critical bottom chord members, to determine variations and peak stresses induced by weather changes. We also monitored accelerations (low-frequency, high-amplitude vibrations) in the deck truss and piers to determine their maximum magnitude and to suggest probable causes of accelerations and their impact on the truss.

Using state-of-the-art real-time monitoring of the truss components, as well as modeling and analytical methods, HAKS gained a better understanding of the operational behavior of the bridge. Some of these applications will lend themselves to future studies. An innovative system and installation of monitoring devices helped capture the true behavior of the truss components during temperature changes as well as determine their behavior in relation to vehicular movement across the spans. The sensors were installed in a manner that allowed for data collection across the members as well as redundancy in the event that a sensor failed.

To prolong the useful life of the bridge, HAKS recommended replacing the bearings as soon as possible, and ConnDOT accepted our recommendations.

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