New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets a firsthand look at work being done on the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel in Newburgh. YNN's Meredith Zaritheny has more.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- "For the blast off, if you will, for another critical project," said Michael Bloomberg, New York City Mayor.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg helps blast a portion of a 900 foot shaft, part of the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel.
"Delaware Aqueduct was put in service in 1944 and today supplies one billion gallons to drinking water to New York City and many upstate communities consume every day," said Carter Strickland, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner.
The $1 billion project will ultimately bypass leaking sections of Delaware Aqueduct.
"Actually leaks is a pretty generous word for the 15 to 35 million gallons of water that we estimate escapes the aqueduct every day," said Mayor Bloomberg.
Crews started working on the shaft last month.
"It will run roughly 2.5 miles from here in Newburgh under the Hudson, as the aqueduct does, and connect with the original aqueduct on the on the other side of the river in Wappinger," said Mayor Bloomberg.
"When this shaft is completed, it will allow us to begin digging a bypass tunnel around the leaking portion of the Delaware Aqueduct," said Carter Strickland, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner.
It's the largest infrastructure project in the Hudson Valley outside of the New Tappan Zee Bridge Project and is expected to create 200 jobs. The DEP says the project is expected to take until 2021 to complete.