New Madison Avenue Water Main Activated
Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway and Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner for Infrastructure Eric C. Macfarlane has activated a crucial 48-in. water main on Madison Avenue from East 40th Street to East 55th Street, part of a larger project to upgrade the drinking water distribution network along Madison Avenue from Midtown to the Upper East Side, according to a New York City Department of Environmental Protection press release.
The $15.6 million reconstruction strengthens the reliability of the water supply network in
“Upgrading the water mains on Madison Avenue will ensure that our water distribution network will run smoothly for decades to come,” said Commissioner Holloway. “At the same time, we are pioneering new technology that allows us to make these critical investments with minimal impact on the community. With more than $250 million planned to improve our water distribution network in Manhattan over the next five years – including the completion of ten shaft sites in connection with City Tunnel No. 3 – the reliability and quality of our drinking water supply has never been better. I want to thank DDC for helping to make this project a reality.”
“Excavation of streets is never welcomed in a neighborhood and we wanted to minimize the impact along the City’s central business district to the largest extent possible,” said Deputy Commissioner Eric C. Macfarlane. “I am proud of the way DDC’s project engineers investigated the feasibility of relining this critical water supply infrastructure and designed a rehabilitation method for this pipeline using trenchless technology.”
Water and sewer mains are more traditionally repaired or replaced by digging trenches throughout the length of the project in order to excavate the old main. For this project, state-of-the-art trenchless technology was used instead, and more than 10,000 ft of cast iron water main was upgraded along Madison Avenue which involved pulling segments of pipe lining through the existing 48-inch cast iron water main. After the pipe lining was inserted, the main was pressurized with water causing the lining to fit tightly against the cast iron main. The innovative process substantially reduces traffic congestion, pollution from trucking and waste material, and inconvenience to the local community, pedestrians, motorists and businesses. DEP will be assessing whether this new technology may be replicated in other areas with similar conditions.
The 48-in. water main placed back into service was originally installed at least as far as 1870, based on the oldest DEP records, and taken out of service in the 1970s due to numerous joint leaks. Redundant distribution mains have been supplying the area’s drinking water. Today’s activation completes the underground work on the project along Madison Avenue from
Upgrading water distribution and sewer infrastructure is a central part of DEP’s upcoming capital plan. In
DEP manages the City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents.