Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New York City Water Tunnel No. 3 is Activated

The fountain in Central Park Reservoir was added in 1917 — 55 years after the reservoir was constructed — to mark the activation of City Water Tunnel No. 1. Today, the five spouts of the refurbished fountain, representing each of the City's five boroughs, send plumes of water more than 80 feet high.
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City Tunnel No. 3 is the largest capital construction project in New York City's history.

Constructed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the tunnel will eventually span more than 60 miles and is expected to be complete in 2020.

The activated portion of Tunnel No. 3, constructed in bedrock 250 to 800 feet below the surface, runs 13 miles and begins at Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers. It extends across Central Park until about 5th Avenue and 78th Street and stretches eastward under the East River and Roosevelt Island into Astoria, Queens.

The operation of the new tunnel will allow inspection and repair to take place on City Tunnels No. 1 or 2 for the first time since they were put into operation in 1917 and 1936, respectively, and thereby will ensure the reliability of the finest and foremost water delivery system in the world well into the next millennium.

City Tunnel No. 3 is constructed by DEP employees, operating engineers of Locals 14 and 15, and underground construction workers (known as Sandhogs) of Local 147. Since 1970, when construction on the tunnel began, a total of 24 people have died in construction-related accidents. To commemorate their ultimate sacrifice during the activation ceremony, the Mayor read each name and date of passing while a fellow Sandhog tolled a bell. In addition, a ceremonial plaque bearing the names of each individual was unveiled. A permanent bronze plaque will be mounted outside the Central Park Reservoir’s South Gatehouse.

This tunnel feature and photo gallery outlines New York City's water delivery system and details the Stages and background of City Tunnel No. 3.

ConstructionVR Panorama
Valve Chamber
Boring Machine
factsheet.pdfGet Acrobat
Additional Information:
Press Release
New York City Water Supply System To DEP's site

The illuminated fountain in the Reservoir stands as a bold symbol of City Water Tunnel No. 3.
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