A cofferdam was used during construction to prevent water from entering the work zone on City Island, while the yellow turbidity barrier prevents unwanted discharge from the work area into Eastchester Bay

Two 20-inch subaqueous water mains stretching 4,200 feet now installed under Eastchester Bay

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley today announced the completion of a $34 million project to upgrade the drinking water connection to City Island in the Bronx. Two new water mains have been placed under Eastchester Bay to ensure a reliable supply of water for the residents and businesses located on the Island. Work included the use of horizontal directional drilling technology to create a passage for the new pipes beneath the Bay. 

“New Yorkers are made of the ‘best stuff on Earth,’ and the water we drink is and must be part of that,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Thanks to the team’s strategic and creative work, the residents and small businesses of City Island will have reliable access to the clean drinking water they deserve.”

“This $34 million infrastructure investment will ensure that the residents, businesses and visitors to City Island have a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for generations to come,” said NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “This complex project included tunneling under Eastchester Bay and I want to thank our partners at DDC for overseeing this complicated and environmentally sensitive work.”

“Tunneling under EastchesterBay was a complicated project that will ensure a reliable water supply for City Island for decades to come,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “I commend the DDC staff for their diligence in working through the pandemic and for their dedication to environmental protection and ensuring that the work did not disturb environmentally sensitive areas nearby.”

“Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, and it is in the best interest of our city that all New Yorkers have tap water that is safe to drink and free of contamination,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I applaud The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for their commitment to this project, and smart execution to ensure City Island residents and businesses have clean water access.”

“The residents and businesses of City Island are entitled to clean drinking water and a well-managed water supply, and I’m glad to see the New York City Department of Design and Construction and Department of Environmental Protection deliver just that to the people of City Island,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “I’m glad to see the completed project not only provides water but a new pipeline and new fire hydrants for both City Island and Pelham Bay Park, as well as restored pedestrian pathways and bike paths.”

“I am grateful to all who were involved in the completion of this much-needed project,” said Assembly Member Michael Benedetto

The construction area on the mainland in Pelham Bay Park is where two 20-inch water mains were installed under EastchesterBay to increase the reliability of City Island’s drinking water supply

During construction, engineers utilized horizontal directional drilling technology to create two 2000-foot pathways under EastchesterBay for the pipes to travel from the Rodman’s Neck peninsula on the mainland toward City Island. The process included boring a pilot hole from one surface point to another, expanding that hole to the appropriate diameter to accommodate the pipes being installed, grouting into place a steel sleeve that stabilizes the tunnel that has been created and then pulling the water main pipes through the enlarged hole. Work on City Island itself included the construction of a receiving pit where the new pipes would tie into the local water main distribution system.

The new pipelines replace an older 12-inch subaqueous water main and a temporary 16-inch main that was previously installed on the City Island Bridge, and which has been removed. Construction also included the addition of new fire hydrants on Pelham Bay Park and City Island.

The bike path on City Island Bridge and the bike path that connects Pelham Bay Park to City Island were restored. The pedestrian pathway to connect the Catherine Scott promenade to the Pelham Bay bike path was restored with asphalt hexagonal pavers. 

The project received a Diamond award in the water resources category during the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York’s 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards. The project was also named “2021 Project of the Year” in the $25-100 million category by the Construction Management Association of America’s NY/NJ Chapter (CMAA) for providing safe and reliable drinking water to 4,500 residents in City Island. 

The project was designed by Dewberry, the design was carried out by Northeast Remsco Construction, Inc. and engineering services were provided by McMillen Jacobs Associates. The project, which began June 2019 and reached substantial completion in December 2021, was funded by DEP and managed by DDC.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

About the NYC Department of Environmental Protection

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.