The Journal Gazette
Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Fort Wayne breaks ground on Overflow Reduction Tunnel

DAVE GONG | For The Journal Gazette

Construction on Fort Wayne's Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel officially began today as city and construction officials broke ground near the city's water pollution control plant. 

The five-mile-long tunnel will travel from the plant to Foster Park more than 200 feet underground. Construction of the $188 million tunnel, officials say, is an essential component of a 2008 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to significantly reduce the average number of combined sewer overflows into Fort Wayne's rivers. City Utilities officials say the project will also protect neighborhoods from sewage backing up into basements and street flooding heavy rain events. 

"The tunnel project will have significant environmental and economic benefits for generations to come," Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. "To be a point of destination city, it's critical that we invest in projects that will have a lasting and meaningful impact. A successful future for our community and region depends on safe, effective and efficient wastewater treatment facilities and best practices." 

The tunnel is being built by S.A. Healy and Salini Impregilo, a global engineering firm that specializes in projects like Fort Wayne's tunnels. The joint venture has done similar projects in 50 countries. Fort Wayne's tunnel has a life expectancy of about 100 years, officials say.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 1 a.m. Friday.

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