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October 2, 2017

$19 Million Investment To Build New Drinking Water Connection To Randall’s Island And Wards Island

New Sub-Aqueous Water Main Extension Will Help to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Water to the Islands

Photos of the Work are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

Ian Michaels

The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection and Design and Construction today announced that work is underway on a $19 million project to upgrade the drinking water supply connection to Randall’s Island and Wards Island.  Constructing a new sub-aqueous main will help to ensure a reliable supply of water for the multiple public buildings located on the islands.  Work includes the use of a micro-tunnel boring machine that will excavate a passage for the new pipeline beneath the Bronx Kill waterway.  DEP is funding the project and DDC is managing the construction, which is anticipated to be completed in 2018.

“This investment will help to ensure a reliable supply of water for the many critical facilities that operate on Randall’s and Wards Islands,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.  “We thank our partners at DDC for their work on this important infrastructure upgrade.” 

“DDC works with DEP to enhance the City’s water and sewer systems in every borough,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “With the tremendous number of events and activities being offered, as well as crucial City services such as the FDNY training academy, it’s important to improve the redundancy of the water supply to these islands.”

“Reliable supply of water is imperative for the public buildings on the Randall’s Island and Wards Island, and will provide a sense of security for the people who work there,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am excited for this project to begin, and I thank the Department of Environment Protection and the Department of Design and Construction for their commitment to improving drinking water supply here in my district.”

“I applaud the New York City Departments of Environmental Protection and Design and Construction for their commitment to upgrading the water supply on Randall's and Wards Islands. Creating and sustaining a reliable water supply for both islands is an important project and will provide a much needed source of clean water for the abundance of public parkland, recreational fields and public buildings located on the islands,” said  State Senator José M. Serrano.

“With all the growing recreational activities and services being offered on Randall's and Wards Island this investment will make the Islands' water supply more reliable and improve the water system's infrastructure. This project falls in line with the City and State's commitment maintaining clean and safe water supplies for New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez.

Preparatory work included the excavation of a 55-foot deep shaft on Randall’s Island to serve as a launch site for the micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM).  Engineers will use advanced technology to remotely control the MTBM from the surface as it moves under the Bronx Kill toward Brook Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. Micro-tunneling beneath the waterway, its tidal wetlands, and the railroad tracks that follow the Bronx shoreline will allow work to progress without disrupting these natural features and transportation routes.

The new 20-inch water main, which will serve as a secondary feed for Randall’s Island, will connect to an existing 36-inch water main at Brook Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, and to an existing 20-inch water main on Randall’s Island. The project includes the construction of approximately 2,100 linear feet of distribution water mains and the addition of eight new fire hydrants.

Upon the completion of construction, more than 3,100 square feet of sidewalk and curbs will be rebuilt, and approximately 9,000 square yards of pavement will be resurfaced. Additionally, 37 new trees will be planted and any impacted parkland will be restored.

Randall’s Island and Wards Island are conjoined islands that are part of Manhattan. Once separated by a narrow channel called “Little Hell Gate,” the waterway was eventually filled in. The island’s 480 acres are comprised of mostly parkland, offering athletic fields, a driving range, greenways, playgrounds and picnic areas.

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 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 21 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 $20.7 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 lenses 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, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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