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Fort Wayne Plans To Build Tunnel Under City

Courtesy/City of Fort Wayne
Workers stand next to the tunnel boring machine used in Indianapolis.

This year, Fort Wayne will start bidding on a company to build a 5-mile long tunnel under the city.

On Monday officials will hold a third forum to answer questions about the project.

Fort Wayne spokesman Frank Suarez says the forums have given residents a chance to ask questions and give feedback on the deep rock tunnel project, which is expected to begin in 2017.

“It’s an unusual project for the city of Fort Wayne--for any city--and the fact that it’s going to be so deep is hard to comprehend and we know that there’s a lot of interest,” Suarez said. “Some people who don’t even really live near the location are just interested in the process.”

The tunnel will be 150-250 feet below ground and is being built to decrease the amount of sewage overflowing into the rivers.

Currently, the combined sewer system, which includes water from homes, businesses, and streets, overflows into the St. Marys and Maumee rivers 71 times per year on average. The federal government is requiring the city bring that number down to 4 by the end of 2022.

Suarez estimates the project will cost $150 million, though the city won’t know the exact price until a bid award is issued.

The tunnel will stretch from Foster Park in a curved path through downtown. It connects with the existing sewer outfalls and redirects the water to the Water Pollution Control Plant where it will be treated.

Monday’s forum will be at 6:00 on the University of Saint Francis. Find out more about the tunnel on the city’s website.

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