Last year, New York City brought a long-overdue water project to completion by the activation of a new drinking water tunnel from Brooklyn to Staten Island.
The $250 million tunnel was delayed when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.
Ironically, disasters such as Sandy are the very reason that this tunnel has been built. In a crisis, this critical backup system can deliver up to 150 million gallons of water per day to Staten Island in the aftermath of a disaster.
Water Online reports:
“Called a siphon, the tunnel runs under New York Harbor and replaces two, nearly 100-year-old siphons. Construction on the tunnel was suspended due to damage from Sandy. When work resumed in 2014, new measures were put in to prevent future storm damage.
The tunnel was activated on the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
“Our city is better prepared to tackle 21st century threats like Sandy today than ever before,” de Blasio said, per the Staten Island Advance. “This water tunnel is one measure that will help Staten Island spring back to action in the event of a disaster that would disrupt the water supply.””
This step towards better resilient infrastructure is welcomed by New York City, as planners consider the lack of investment in resilience-related projects prior to now, a forward move in infrastructure asset management.
They are hoping that this project will be a springboard for many more in the near future, as New York City faces the constant battle of water main breaks and losing an estimated 20 percent of treated water before it even makes it to faucets.