Construction has begun on a project to upgrade water and sewer lines serving Liberty Island, the site of the Statue of Liberty.

statue of liberty

The new design includes the use of horizontal directional drilling to install separate 2,400-ft long water and sewer lines through the bedrock of New York Harbor.



The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority provides water and wastewater service to Liberty Island, which is operated by the National Park Service. Hatch Mott MacDonald was retained in 2012 by  the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority to design replacements for the existing water and sewer lines, which were undersized and vulnerable to damage. Interruption of service would require closing the island, which receives more than 4 million visitors per year.

The new design includes the use of horizontal directional drilling to install separate 2,400-ft long water and sewer lines through the bedrock of New York Harbor. Three thousand feet of water pipe and 3,000 ft of sewer force main will also be installed within Liberty State Park, using pipe bursting techniques.

“HMM looks forward to the successful completion of this important project. We are proud to help ensure safe and uninterrupted public access to one of the world’s most popular attractions and significant monuments,” said Hatch Mott MacDonald president and CEO Nick DeNichilo.

The project design is challenging due to the extremely limited construction area on Liberty Island. HMM performed eight geotechnical borings to determine the quality of bedrock, recommended the use of conductor casings on each end of the HDD crossings, designed temporary systems to maintain service during construction, obtained necessary permits, and coordinated with Liberty State Park and Liberty Island to maintain visitor access during construction.

Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) is an award-winning full-service engineering firm that operates in North America. With roots that date back more than 100 years, Hatch Mott MacDonald has earned a reputation for technical excellence, innovation, and client responsiveness. We have a track record of major accomplishments in transportation, water, pipelines, environment, and infrastructure. HMM has 2,700 staff and 76 offices throughout North America.