Applied Knowledge

Decaying Infrastructure Hides Large Problems

March 28th, 2014 · 2:08 pm @   -  No Comments

The explosion that occurred in East Harlem in March has brought the topic of America’s infrastructure to the  has been brought to the forefront of  public conversation.

The New York Times has written an interesting piece with many statistics on pipeline infrastructure in NYC and throughout the country.  They identify the timeframe it will take to replace vulnerable pipelines in NYC (30 years) and the estimated cost ($10B).

They also have a quote on what can be done now from Mark McDonald, who investigates gas explosions for insurance companies and property owners.  He said, “Accelerated replacement is not the answer to today’s problem; it’s the answer to tomorrow’s problem.  What needs to be happening is increased vigilance, increased leak surveys to spot these problems before it gets into someone’s house.”

Below is a summary of a few of the statistics found in the article.

By the Numbers:

  • ½—Amount of  gas mains older installed before 1940 by Con Edison/National Grid in NYC
  • 3—Number of decades it will take to replace leak-prone pipes in NYC at the current rate of replacement.
  • 8.3 –      Number of miles of pipeline where a gas leak occurs
  • 22-Number of significant explosions within the last decade in NYC
  • 4953—Number of hazardous leaks in NYC in 2012
  • 6302—Estimated miles of natural gas pipeline underneath New York City
  • 9906—Number of leaks reported by Con Edison and National Grid in 2012
  • 1,200,000—Estimated miles of gas pipelines across the United States
  • $10,000,000—Cost per mile to replace a gas main in NYC
  • $10,000,000,000–The current cost to replace old gas mains in NYC


Hit the link below for the full NYT article


New York Times

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