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 memorial to those who have lost their lives is currently being planned.
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. You can also watch the following video: