In New York City, utility infrastructure is buried directly underground in a disorganized manner, so utility companies and the city have to excavate roads to manage utilities. The clients are considering building underground utility tunnels (utilidors) that enable repair and upgrade activities without excavation. In this project, the team refined the Life Cycle Cost-Benefit Analysis (LCCBA) model for the 2020 Capstone with the goal of identifying the long-term value of utilidors. First, focusing on the subsurface value, the team conducted case studies of several cities (e.g., Tokyo and Singapore) to identify costs and benefits, and cost-sharing methods between the public sector and utility companies. Based on these case studies, the team proposed a revenue model, in which revenue is generated based on two criteria: savings generated to utility providers, and cross-section space they use inside utilidors.
Second, the team focused on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and investigated the management of water infrastructure using ICT. Moreover, the team conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the application of ICT to utility management in NYC. The team conducted an in-depth analysis focusing on direct costs. As a result, the team concluded that the benefits of constructing a utilidor exceed the costs of current practices. The team then proposed three bond options as financing models for the project. The team concluded that the implementation of utilidors would be beneficial and feasible and that the ICT would allow for even more efficient management of utilities in NYC.