De Blasio to allocate $300 million and accelerate construction of third NYC water tunnel
City Water Tunnel No. 3, one of the largest capital projects in the city’s history; Images: NYC DEP
Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially announce Tuesday that $300 million will be allocated toward the completion of the city’s third water tunnel (known as Water Tunnel No. 3) which will bring drinking water from upstate to the city’s taps. The mayor’s announcement backs up assurances he made in April that the tunnel will be ready for activation in an emergency by the end of this year, and fully operational by 2025, Politico reports. The allocation, along with an additional $3 million to disinfect the Brooklyn/Queens section of the tunnel, is part of the city’s 10-year capital plan and will speed up the timeline for completion of the project.
The new third tunnel is meant to function as a backup in case the city’s two older tunnels fail. It’s already bringing water to Manhattan and the Bronx, but segments that would supply Brooklyn and Queens are still waiting for the construction of two deep shafts. The mayor’s office also announced that the tunnel will be connected to one that delivers water to Staten Island.
As 6sqft previously explained, the construction of the third tunnel is one of the biggest capital projects in NYC history; by the 2020s the tunnel is expected to carry water to all five boroughs, freeing up tunnels one and two, built in 1917 and 1936, respectively, for easier inspection.