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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19-001
January 8, 2019
DEP: deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov; (718) 595-6600

$31 Million Infrastructure Investment for Washington Heights

A $31 million City infrastructure project is upgrading water mains on 50 blocks in Washington Heights, near Highbridge and Harlem River Parks, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today. DEP provided the funding for the water main replacement and DDC is managing the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

“Our more than 6,500 miles of water mains citywide deliver the world renowned NYC tap water that New Yorkers rely on every day of the year,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We are proud to be investing in new, upgraded water mains for upper Manhattan and thank our partners at DDC for managing these projects for the City.”

“This project is a major investment by the City to improve infrastructure in upper Manhattan,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “Joint bidding is one strategy we’re expanding on to make construction schedules more reliable and minimize the effects of construction on local communities, and we’ll continue to expand its use.”

“One of the top priorities of the City of New York should be to invest in our aging infrastructure,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “I’m thrilled that $31 million will be invested into Northern Manhattan’s gas and water main lines and I will continue to monitor the project so that it is completed on time and on budget. I commend the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Environmental Protection for moving this project forward.

As part of the project, 12,000 feet of gas mains, that are currently located in the street above the local water mains, are being removed and new gas mains are being installed in a separate part of the street. The water mains underneath, including some that are over 100 years old, will then be replaced with 12,000 feet of new pipes made of concrete-lined ductile iron, which are more resilient and less prone to breakage than the cast iron pipes typically used decades ago.

The project is funded by DEP and Con Edison under the “joint bidding” method of contracting, which DDC is promoting to improve the efficiency of infrastructure projects. Joint bidding reduces the chances of project delays that can occur when private utilities interfere in the street with City-owned infrastructure by including the private utility and City work in one overall contract. Con Edison has provided $9 million of the project’s funding for the gas main relocation and replacement.

To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) assigned to the project. CCL Rosaly Raman keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, coordinates street closures and utility shutoffs and can arrange special requests such as deliveries to local homes and businesses. Ms. Raman works on-site and is directly accessible to the public at 646-596-7573 or by email at ddcwatermainccl@gmail.com.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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 $19.4 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600