The Fort Wayne City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a contract for tunnel spoils recycling services, which officials say will save the city money on future projects.
The $1.4 million contract with Kreager Group Inc. includes construction of a set of scales and a scale house near the water pollution control plant to house and measure the rock excavated as part of the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel.
Once the tunnel is complete, the facility will be turned over for use by City Utilities.
The nearly 250,000 cubic yards of rock has an estimated value of about $3 million, City Utilities' Mike Kiester told the council. Rock excavated throughout the tunnel's construction will be processed and used by the city for other projects, Kiester said.
“The rock basically will become the city's rock, so the savings will go to the future projects going on,” Kiester said. “We'll just be able to lower our stone costs on future projects and with that savings, it's going to allow us to fund the next project that's on the wish list.”
Kiester said it will take about five to six years to use all of the rock excavated by the five-mile-long tunnel. The city plans to use the rock rather than sell it because of federal regulations.
“We cannot sell the rock that is generated out of the tunnel,” Kiester said. “If we start selling the rock, we become a mining operation, therefore we're under all the federal mining regulations. We'd prefer not to go there.”
In other business, City Council approved a $196,400 contract to repair a retaining wall on South Hanna Street. Earlier in the year, a portion of the 255-foot wall on South Hanna Street north of Wallace Street collapsed, damaging some of the sidewalk below, said Mario Trevino, city transportation engineer.
“We noticed that while only a section of it fell, what remains still was in pretty bad shape and thought collapse in the future, so we decided to do the entire stretch,” Trevino said.