The world’s longest tunnel needs a $1.2 billion fix. Built during World War II, the Delaware Aqueduct supplies approximately half of New York City’s drinking water and has been leaking 15 million to 35 million gallons daily since the 1990s.
Now construction workers are using a custom-made boring machine to create a 2.5-mile bypass tunnel around the leak 55 stories underground. The city is also preparing for a months-long shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct to divert water.
If all goes well, officials say, nobody will notice any difference in the water supply. Here’s a closer look at this massive infrastructure project.
Completed in 1944, the 85-mile aqueduct carries more than 500 million gallons of water from four upstate reservoirs into the city every day. One million people in Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties who also rely on this supply, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
In the early 1990s, leaks were discovered in Newburgh and Wawarsing at a weak point where it crosses through limestone instead of shale. They were exacerbated by floods and high water tables, causing […]