Construction work begins this month in two Hudson Valley counties to prepare for a new bypass tunnel. New York City Department of Environmental Protection officials say site-preparation work will soon begin for the Rondout-West Branch Bypass Tunnel, a roughly $1 billion project that will repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct. DEP contractors will begin working at sites in Newburgh, in Orange County; and in Wappinger, in Dutchess County, where shafts will be built to allow for the construction of the 2.5-mile bypass tunnel. Last year, DEP purchased several properties off Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh, just north of Pine Road, where it will build one of the shafts. The shaft construction site in the Town of Wappinger, off River Road North, will be built on property already owned by DEP. The site work and bypass construction will be done through a project labor agreement with the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council. The agreement is expected to create roughly 160 jobs.