Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel Reaches Milestone

NEWBURGH – The last of the 230, 40-foot-long sections of steel liner has been lowered into the shaft in the Town of Newburgh and under the Hudson River as the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel construction continues.

The new tunnel will carry water as part of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection pipeline to Wappinger and will replace a 2 1/2-mile-long stretch of the current aqueduct that has two leaking sections – one in Newburgh and the other in the Town of Wawarsing. They were first monitored in the early 1990s leaking an estimated 20 million gallons per day.

DEP spokesman Adam Bosch said this $1 billion project was determined to be the best way to go with no disruption of water service.

“The city had often thought about repairing it from inside the existing aqueduct, but that would have taken a shutdown of three to four years and nobody was willing to take the risk of shutting down half of New York City’s drinking water for three to four years,” he said.

“Part of the brilliance of building a new tunnel right alongside the existing one is that it limited that shutdown time to just five to eight months, which is a much more palatable shutdown period that allows us to get the work done while the aqueduct is in service.”

Once the last steel liner is welded into place, the entire tunnel will be lined with rebar-reinforced concrete.

The new section will be ready to carry water in mid-2023.

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