Innovative installation of NYC water pipes saves time and money

A maze of pipes criss-crosses the city under the streets of New York.

Some of them are more than 100 years old. Repairing and replacing them is a never-ending project.

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is responsible for infrastructure projects in the city. Crews are employing an innovative method to speed up installation and save money.

Officials and crew gave PIX11 News Reporter Greg Mocker a tour of a work site along sixteen blocks of Leonard Street in Brooklyn. Crews are installing new water pipes. The $42 million dollar upgrade will improve the system near McCarren Park and improve distribution in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

The method, known as “slip lining,” threads new water mains through existing underground pipes with the use of adjustable sliders, saving time and money and minimizing disruption to neighborhood streets. The city says the process will save an estimated $4 million and speed up the completion date by about a year.

"We design, renovate and build the structures that New York City needs to serve the public," is the quote on the agency's website.

NYC DDC Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane says the city will use this process where it's possible.

The entire road, most of the time, does not have to be closed completely.

The project along Leonard Street is scheduled to be done in November 2019.