Construction of the Manhattan leg of a third water tunnel began this week. Known as "The Tunnel," the project started in 1970 and the 60-mile tunnel won't be completed until at least 2020, as its construction has been planned in stages (Stage 1, Westchester-Bronx-Northern Manhattan-Queens, was completed in 1998 and is supporting those areas with drinking water; Stage 2's Brooklyn-Queens portion is complete, to be activated in 2007). The drilling beneath Manhattan will run from 30th Street and 11th Avenue all the way down to the Holland Tunnel. And it gives Mayor Bloomberg a chance to wear a fresh yellow slicker.
The Mayor's Office provided these facts about Water Tunnel #3:
- The amount of rock displaced during excavation of 8.5 miles of tunnel is approximately the size of a football field piled two hundred fifty feet high. (300 x 250);
- 79,000 tons of concrete will be used in the Manhattan Tunnel;
- Tunnel depths range to as deep as 800 feet below Roosevelt Island.