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One Last Look At MamaJo

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Three years of digging a five-mile underground tunnel can do a lot of damage to even the most resilient boring machine.

MamaJo recently completed her five-mile journey as part of the city’s larger effort to improve Fort Wayne’s rivers from combined sewage overflows. Upon reaching the end of the line, the machine has withstood a substantial amount of wear and tear.

You can find a photo of what MamaJo looks like now at wboi.org.

Project manager T.J. Short says due to the nature of the project, the city never expected to sell MamaJo to anyone; if they did, it would cost a lot of money to bring up from below, and the financial return would be a fraction of what was initially paid.

So, what happens to MamaJo?

“They’re gonna bury it about 40 to 50 feet into the opposite side, and the remaining part of the tunnel boring machine will be disconnected and brought back and brought out of the tunnel, and this part will be buried forever,” said Short.

According to Short, it will likely take “a couple of months” to complete clean-up of the area. The project is on pace to be completed by the deadline in the consent decree in 2025.

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Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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