Hell's Kitchen Residents Feel Unease Over Upcoming Water Main Construction

Written By Yuan Feng | June 01, 2012
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Hell’s Kitchen is about to become quite the battlefield. Scheduled for upwards of five years of construction, the neighborhood is set to have its old water mains replaced with a new water tunnel, which will be connected to the rest of Manhattan’s main systems. Although most residents living in Midtown West understand the necessity of such a project, the circumstances are certainly troubling. Clearly, this is no small project and will gradually create massive trenches in order to plant water mains that could range anywhere from 30 to 48 inches. Over the next five years, construction will occur in phases of 6 to 18 months; sewers need to be replaced and all streets in the area will have to be uprooted gradually. At the end of the project, Hell’s Kitchen ‘s water mains should be able to receive water directly from upstate in a new and efficient system that will replace the old decayed tunnels.

An effort of this scale will naturally create a good deal of disturbance amongst the residents living in the apartments of Manhattan’s Clinton neighborhood. The construction will not only feature annoyances on the basis of noise and massive traffic, but will also stir up the homes of rodents that typically live underground. A veritable hotbed of noise will arise daily not only from the sound of heavy machinery, but also from the blaring horns of traffic congestion. Construction is nothing new for the residents, but the duration of time is indeed unsettling. Construction will take place daily for 13 hours on the on the weekdays and for a further 10 hours on the weekends. The next few years of work will undoubtedly act as a disruption to any sense of quiet in this neighborhood.

Officials of the Department of Design and Construction have promised to do all that they can to alleviate the woes of construction soon to follow. Ultimately, the residents of Hell’s Kitchen will have to rely on promises relating to traffic control, vermin control, waste management, and construction control. But with construction only in its earliest phases, there are no examples of how effective these control efforts will be. And while most accept the fact that the water main repairs are necessary for the good of the neighborhood and of the city, it will ultimately be the results that will determine satisfaction or disappointment over the next five years of Hell’s Kitchen.

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