For nearly 100 years, Manhattan's water supply has flowed through a tunnel, Water Tunnel No. 1, that has not been inspected or significantly repaired since its opening in 1917. But now, thanks to what the Times describes as "the largest capital construction project ever undertaken in the five boroughs," all of Manhattan can now be served by a shiny new tunnel. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg dedicated Water Tunnel No. 3, which now brings the borough its water through the Bronx from the the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers.
The tunnel was authorized in 1954, and work began in 1970. Sections were built in stages, each taking several years to complete. By 1998, Tunnel No. 3 was connected in Astoria, and by 2010, a new concrete-lined 12-foot-wide tunnel existed below Manhattan's West Side. So far, the city has committed $4.7 billion to the project, and it still has a ways to go. A 10.5-mile-long section connecting Brooklyn and Queens should by complete by 2021 to relieve the burden on Water Tunnel No. 2.
· After Decades, a Water Tunnel Can Now Serve All of Manhattan [NYT]
Photo shows work on the tunnel in 1973