Tunnel Workers Memorial

Katonah Avenue and East 242nd Street

This memorial is dedicated to the 23 men who lost their lives between 1970 and 2000 during construction of City Water Tunnel No. 3, a massive project that is still being built in stages. Tunnels No. 1 and No. 2 were completed in 1917 and 1936, respectively, to bring fresh water to the city from upstate New York. The construction of Tunnel No. 3 is a long-term endeavor to enhance and improve the water delivery system to the five boroughs. The Manhattan and Bronx legs of the tunnel have already been completed, while the Brooklyn and Queens legs, which will also supply water to Staten Island, have been completed but await activation (expected in 2020). The Department of Environmental Protection and the Local 147 sandhog union worked together to build this memorial, which consists of 23 manhole covers embedded in the pavement, a drinking fountain, trees, plants and a flag pole whose base is made of gray stones from the tunnel. Each manhole cover is engraved with the name of the person and the year of his death. The memorial’s location was selected due to its proximity to the underground chamber that directs flows from upstate water supply systems to all of the boroughs.