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$1.2 Billion Westchester Water Tunneling Project Announced

Kensico Reservoir.
Kensico Reservoir. Photo Credit: File

Hundreds of jobs are being created as officials announce a billion dollar tunneling project in Westchester that will benefit more than nine million people.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced plans for a $1.2 billion tunneling project that will “improve operational flexibility between facilities that are vital to the drinking water supply of people in New York City and Westchester County.”

The centerpiece of the project will be a two-mile tunnel between the Kensico Reservoir and the Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Facility in Eastview, dubbed the Kensico-Eastview Connection.

“This is an example of how government can work effectively when we all work together,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. “Westchester has long enjoyed some of the best drinking water in the country and this is an important step to make sure future generations will enjoy fresh, clean water.

“Along with preserving this great resource, I am also pleased to see that this project will create local jobs while providing helpful redundancy to the infrastructure that our communities depend on. This is a ‘win-win’ for all involved.”

Officials said it is the largest water-supply tunneling effort in Westchester County in 60 years and will create hundreds of jobs for local residents. Construction is set to begin in approximately five years.

“This project is a classic win-win,” State Sen. Terrence Murphy said. “It will make vital improvements to our infrastructure while creating good jobs for local workers.”

The project will include the installation of the tunnel, facilities to draw water from Kensico Reservoir and move water into the ultraviolet plant, and other infrastructure work. Last year, DEP collected soil and bedrock samples from the area to support the design of the project, which has already begun. The project also includes new facilities and site work at Kensico Reservoir and the ultraviolet treatment plant. Construction on the first portions of the KEC project are expected to start in approximately five years; work on the tunnel itself is expected to begin around 2025. DEP expects to finish the project around 2035.

“The Kensico-Eastview Connection is a critical investment in the long-term resiliency of New York’s water supply system,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza added. “By providing an additional connection between Kensico Reservoir and our treatment facilities to the south, this new tunnel will further guarantee the reliable delivery of water to New York City and population centers in Westchester County, including New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers. We look forward to working with our neighbors in Westchester County to ensure that the City’s waterworks continue to supply high-quality drinking water to more than 9.6 million New Yorkers every day.”

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