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City Completes $106 Million Cleanup of Pugsley Creek in South Bronx

New sewer line has reduced overflows into Pugsley Creek by 98 percent. Project was completed 14 months ahead of schedule.

DDC: Shoshana Khan, (347) 580-0328,
DEP: (718) 595-6600

(South Bronx, NY – October 27, 2020) The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced that a $106 million project to clean up Pugsley Creek in the South Bronx has reduced sewer overflows to the Creek by 98 percent. The project, which was completed 14 months ahead of schedule, was funded by DEP while DDC managed the construction.

Construction focused on a nearly mile-long parallel box sewer, as large as 15’ by 9’, which was installed beneath White Plains Road to direct more wastewater towards the Hunts Point Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility. The additional drainage capacity provided by the new large sewer has nearly eliminated combined sewer overflows into Pugsley Creek. The extensive project also included the replacement of nearly two miles of roughly century-old cast iron water mains with new, stronger ductile iron mains.

a scenic photo of pugsley creek in the bronx

The installation of more than half a mile of new combined sewers will improve stormwater drainage in South Bronx and reduce sewer overflow into Pugsley Creek by 98 percent

“This $106 million investment in the South Bronx goes a long way towards cleaning up Pugsley Creek and continues its transformation into a true community amenity,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Upgrading our infrastructure is not only important for the health of our waterways, it is also essential to improving the quality of life for the residents of the Bronx.”

“This is a huge improvement for water quality in Pugsley Creek, and a major upgrade of local water and sewer infrastructure,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “I’d like to thank DEP for allowing us to work with them to reduce combined sewer overflows, and I congratulate the project team for completing the job more than a year early.”

“Pugsley Creek is an underappreciated natural gem in our borough that was long neglected, but is now flourishing as a habitat and recreation area. I would like to thank DEP and DDC for their efforts in cleaning up and ensuring Pugsley Creek remains clean and safe,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I allocated $90,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 to provide Pugsley Creek and Soundview Park blue light call boxes and flash cameras to assure that these parks remain comfortable, secure places for our families. Protecting the environment as well as improving our infrastructure have been key priorities during my tenure as Borough President, and projects such as the clean-up of Pugsley Creek are critical in our efforts to continue making the borough a bucolic, livable place.”

“Everyone deserves access to a clean and healthy environment regardless of where they live. That is why I have always prioritized protecting our environment and expanding access to green spaces in urban areas like the Bronx. This project to clean up Pugsley Creek builds on our achievements to clean and turnaround the Bronx River and further expand access to healthy waterways and green spaces in the Bronx. I thank DEP for this important investment in the Bronx,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano.

“I thank DEP and DDC for their investment in expanding and upgrading drainage capacity to reduce sewer overflows into Pugsley Creek. Protecting our waterways in the south Bronx is critical for improving the health of our environment, and in turn the wellbeing of our community,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester).

“Community Board 9 is excited that the project to clean up Pugsley Creek is now completed,” said William Rivera, District Manager of Community Board 9. “Today our residents have access to restored sidewalks and curbs but more importantly a healthier and cleaner waterway.”

The project included the installation of more than 2,200 feet of new water mains and the replacement of over 8,300 feet of existing mains with concrete-lined ductile iron pipes, which are more resilient and less prone to breakage than the cast iron pipes typically used decades ago. To help improve stormwater drainage in the area, 3,500 feet of new combined sewers were installed, 580 feet of old combined sewers were replaced, 21 catch basins were replaced and one catch basin was added.

Fire protection was enhanced with the replacement of 19 existing hydrants and the addition of seven new hydrants, ensuring firefighters have ready access to the City’s water supply during emergencies. Final restoration of the area included the reconstruction of nearly 45,000 square feet of sidewalk and 4,300 linear feet of curbs, and the resurfacing of over 26,000 square yards of roadway. The new curbs and sidewalks were leveled to help guide stormwater to the area’s new catch basins to ensure adequate drainage during storms.

The construction of the new parallel sewer, which will reduce combined sewer overflows into Pugsley Creek by approximately 200 million gallons annually, is part of an agreement between New York City and New York State that aims to improve the ecological health and cleanliness of New York City Harbor.

More photos and a map of the project area are available here.


About the NYC Department of Environmental Protection
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 8.3 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 a robust capital program, with a planned $20.1 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
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 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