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Project decades in the making – water tunnel serving all of Manhattan now complete

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A water tunnel that serves all of Manhattan, New York, is now open for usage. This water tunnel, simply referred to locally as Water Tunnel No. 3, was authorized in 1954 and construction began on it in 1970.

From conception to completion, it has literally been decades in the making for this water tunnel. Since 1917, Tunnel No. 1 has been relied upon by the borough, “which was never inspected or significantly repaired after its opening.” Further plans for this entire project include another 10.5-mile section of tunnel to connect Brooklyn and Queens, which won’t be done until 2021. That tunnel is meant to relieve Tunnel No. 2, which has been in operation since 1936.

Speaking about the importance of such a massive construction project, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “When I came into office I asked ‘What could literally close down this city?’ And a water tunnel failure would have really done that.” While such a project may be easily forgotten, it really is priceless in the service it provides – bringing precious tap water to millions of people.
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