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February 21, 2013


Chris Gilbride / Angel Román (DEP) (718) 595-6600
Joe Soldevere / Craig Chin (DDC) (718) 391-1641

City Completes $13.3 Million Upgrade to Water Delivery System in Lower Manhattan

Project is Critical Component of Activation of City Water Tunnel No. 3

Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland and Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney today announced the completion of a $13.3 million construction project in the Astor Place/Cooper Union area of Manhattan that included the installation of approximately two miles of critical new trunk water mains. Activation of the Manhattan portion of City Water Tunnel No. 3 requires integrating it into the city’s existing distribution network through a series of trunk water main upgrades. Trunk water mains range in size from 30 to 48 inches and serve as a conduit between the large water tunnel shafts and the local distribution networks, which are composed of smaller mains. This project, which began in 2009, was funded by DEP and managed by DDC.

“Mayor Bloomberg has made an historic commitment to the completion of City Water Tunnel No. 3, which will help ensure a reliable supply of high quality water for New York City for decades to come,” said DEP Commissioner Strickland. “Over the next several months we look forward to completing similar connections throughout Manhattan that will allow for activation of the tunnel and help ensure that New York remains a world class city.”

“These critical infrastructure improvements will yield improved water service and a more attractive streetscape for the East Village, and will bring us one step closer to activating the Manhattan section of City Water Tunnel No. 3,” said Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David J. Burney. “While the underground and roadway work has been completed, we will continue construction this summer on new permanent pedestrian and public spaces around Cooper Park and the Astor Place area.”

The new water mains will provide a critical redundancy to the distribution system that will help minimize future disruption to consumers during area water main work and service shutdowns. The project also included the replacement of an old brick sewer with new reinforced concrete pipe, the installation of catch basins, 34 fire hydrants, seven manholes, 5,000 square feet of concrete sidewalk with pedestrian ramps, 1,700 cubic yards of concrete road base, and 9,700 square yards of asphalt pavement. Gas and other utility upgrades were also completed while the roadway was opened.

The reconstruction work took place on Astor Place from Broadway to 4th Avenue; 4th Avenue from Astor Place to East 4th Street; East 4th Street from 4th Avenue to Broadway; Lafayette Street from Astor Place to East 4th Street; 3rd Avenue from East 7th Street to East 6th Street; and East 7th Street from 3rd Avenue to 4th Avenue.

Upgrading water distribution and sewer infrastructure is a central part of DEP’s capital plan, with more than $330 million in spending planned for Manhattan over the next 10 years.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years that creates up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600