Slip Lining Helps Reduce Cost, Duration of New York City Water Main Project

The New York City Departments of Design and Construction (DDC) and Environmental Protection (DEP) are currently using slip lining to improve the water distribution system near McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The method 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 $42 million project spans 16 blocks along Leonard Street from Driggs Avenue to Maujer Street. An existing 72-inch trunk water main, originally installed in 1894, is being lined with a new 60-inch pipe. Instead of digging up the entire 16-block length of the project, the slip lining process requires that only ten short trenches be cut, reducing noise and dust and preserving roadway access for pedestrians and vehicles. The process will save an estimated $4 million and expedite the project’s completion by approximately one year.

“Slip lining can be a minimally invasive and cost effective way to enhance the City’s infrastructure,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “Residents and businesses along over half a mile of Leonard Street will benefit greatly from this less disruptive and faster process. DDC will work with DEP and other agencies to see where slip lining can be incorporated into additional City projects.”

The Leonard Street project includes the replacement of local water mains, as well as sanitary and combined sewers, curbs, sidewalks, street lighting and traffic lights. A total of 3,600 linear-feet of 60-inch trunk main will be installed via the slip lining method. Additionally, 56 catch basins will be installed to minimize flooding and 23 new fire hydrants will be placed along the span. The road will be fully reconstructed once work is completed.

“Trenchless technology such as slip lining is far less invasive than the old methods of tearing up streets,” said DDC’s Engineer-in-Charge Jatin Upadhyay. “Slip lining causes fewer traffic delays and reduces street closures, and it’s less expensive since you don’t have to open and then repair all of the roads. It’s important to try new things and I believe this experiment will help the city a great deal.”

LiRo Engineers, Inc. are the consultants for the project, and Tully Construction Co. is the contractor. The project is expected to be completed in winter 2019.

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