DDC and DEP Complete Water Connection to Randall’s and Wards Islands

Image Credit: NYC DDC

The newly completed water connection will bring reliable water to the public buildings located on Randall’s and Wards Islands. On January 5, 2021, the Department of Designs and Construction (DDC) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the completion of a water connection upgrade to Randall’s and Wards Islands. The DEP funded the project while the DDC managed construction.

The new water main will provide efficient and clean water for not only recreational activities, but also public facilities located on the islands like the state hospital and the FDNY Training Academy. The new water main connects to an already existing water main on Brook Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, and to an existing 20-inch water main on Randall’s Island. The construction project included the installation of over 2,200 feet of new water mains on the islands and the replacement of 230 feet of existing water mains.

The work on the project included the use of a micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM) that remotely excavated the passage beneath Bronx Kill. Two 55-feet deep shafts were excavated to act as an entry and exit point for the MTBM. The MTBM was remotely operated by engineers to bore the tunnel from Bronx Kill on Randall’s Island to Brook Avenue in the Bronx. The tunneling occurred beneath the waterway to allow work to progress without disrupting the natural features and transportation.

In addition to the water main installation, other work was completed, including:

  • 5 new fire hydrants installed.
  • 24,000 square feet of sidewalk reconstructed.
  • 1,600 linear feet of curbs reconstructed.
  • 2,800 square yards of pavement replaced.
  • 37 new trees planted.
  • 28,200 square feet of pedestrian pathway was reconstructed.
  • Five pathway light poles were reinstalled.
  • The irrigation system was replaced.
  • A playing field was restored.

DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza stated, “Many critical facilities operate on Randall’s and Wards Islands and this much-needed investment will ensure that they have a reliable supply of water for decades to come.”

DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo stated, “This new connection to the City’s water system, which DDC installed by tunneling under the East River to the Bronx, brings more reliable water service to all of the islands’ users.

By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)

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