Teaching Case - Third City Water Tunnel: Policy Analysis and Executive Control

Third City Water Tunnel: Policy Analysis and Executive Control


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  • Product Description

    This case traces the development, over 16 years, of a major public works project for New York City. The 13.7 mile-long third city water tunnel, designed to distribute 1.7 billion gallons of water per day, was, when ground was broken for it in 1970, the largest public works project to date in the city's history. The case examines the long planning process for the tunnel construction as it moved through the city's many layers of line agencies with roles to play, among them the Board of Water Supply, Department of Water Supply, Environmental Protection Administration, City Planning Commission.

    Learning Objective:
    This case examines the interplay between these agencies, staffed by career personnel, many with technical expertise, and the city's executive branch, with its political and fiduciary roles. Conflict between the Budget Bureau in the Office of the Mayor--which became an active opponent of the tunnel project--and those agencies which planned the project, frames a discussion about the interplay between career and elected officials, technical experts and politically responsive officials.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1979
    HKS Case Number: 1148.0
    Case Author: Arnold Howitt
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 45
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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