Thursday, April 16, 2009

NY Daily News - Discussions - Big water tunnel and big price tag ...

I followed this in its "public comments" stage of the underground filtration plant design, when it was proposed a choice of three locations: next to a prison in Westchester County, arguably there more served by it; along the Harlem River, piped north then back south; and this location, to be about $100 million cheaper than the Westchester one. At $1 billion vs. $1.1 billion, instead of in the historic neighborhood of Jerome Park reservoir, it seemed the solution. It may have set a precedent though, taking a public park and is being built next to a well-known children's hospital, with over-runs that make the original decision look suspect, almost a crime.

Speaking of which, my involvement with this is from an archaeological perspective: the water tunnel was to come up in Manhattan in only two locations that would provide sufficient benefit to the water system there: either in what was to be a larger "Cabrini Park" at 1 Police Plaza or in the parking lot of the South Street Seaport Historic District, a proposed block to be developed as "250 Water Street" with the National Register 251 Water St. across the street to the south from it. I still haven't heard where it will surface. The former Dinkin's administration was once considering condemning the 250 Water St. site for it, last known to be owned by the Milstein's who have also developed property at Times Square. When I did research on the block I found it very significant in NYC history, for example a Quaker Mayor of NYC Bowne, lived there as did an early merchant, Isaac Allerton, a Puritan who came over on the Mayflower, a Bronx street named after him I think.

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