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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:02 pm

Bids for tunnel project to open Feb. 16

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

The opening of bids for Fort Wayne’s mammoth tunnel project to deal with its combined sewer overflow problem has been postponed from today to Feb. 16.

Frank Suarez, City Utilities spokesman, said Wednesday the complex bidding process for the project has taken longer than expected.

Bids are expected to take several hours to open, he said. The project is expected to top $200 million.

The five-mile, 16-foot-wide tunnel will be drilled 200 feet underground between Foster Park and the city’s Water Pollution Control Plant on Dwenger Avenue. The projects will include vertical shafts that will channel stormwater and sewage from near the surface to the tunnel.

Now, when the city’s combined sewers – carrying both wastewater and runoff – fill up from heavy rain, their contents go into the rivers. The tunnel is to solve that pollution, which federal environmental officials have ordered Fort Wayne to address.

City officials have said the tunnel project should eliminate 95 percent of the combines sewer overflow problem.

Officials will evaluate bids before selecting the company, which may take a few weeks, Suarez said.

rsalter@jg.net