Mayor: Tunnel to Bring 'Significant' Benefits to Fort Wayne

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of our partners at WPTA) (photo courtesy of our partners at WPTA)

Work has begun on the largest construction and public investment project in the history of Fort Wayne. City officials broke ground Thursday on the $188 million Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel, which is part of the city’s effort to reduce sewage overflow into rivers.

Mayor Tom Henry says the deep rock tunnel, which is slated for completion in 2021, will have significant environmental and economic benefits for generations to come. The tunnel is designed to have a life expectancy of 100 years, according to the city.

"To be a point of destination City, it’s critical that we invest in projects that will have a lasting and meaningful impact," said Henry. "A successful future for our community and region depends on safe, effective and efficient wastewater treatment facilities and best practices."

Tunnel contractors S.A. Healy Co. and Salini Impregilo will construct the tunnel, which will be the fourth Combined Sewer Overflow they have built in the U.S.  Matthew Wirtz, deputy director of City Utilities in Fort Wayne, says the city will see a 90 percent reduction in combined sewer overflow going into the local rivers, which is an average reduction more than 850 billion gallons each year.

"That will benefit the entire community and our waterways as well as those downstream all the way to Lake Erie," said Wirtz. "We also know that in the next four to six years we will see a reduction in neighborhood street flooding and basement back-ups.The tunnel will directly help 30 neighborhoods, 15,000 properties and around 45,000 residents."

The project will also include the construction of associated consolidation sewers, drop shafts and a pump station at the sewage treatment plant. The city of Fort Wayne provided some quick facts about the tunnel:

  • 5 miles - length of tunnel, stretching from Glasgow Avenue to Foster Park
  • 200 - 250 feet - tunnel depth below earth surface
  • 16 feet - tunnel finished interior diameter
  • 800 million gallons – amount of flow that can travel through the tunnel per day
  • 90% - percentage this project will reduce the number of combined sewer overflows on our rivers
  • 2017 – working shaft (the hole dug to send the Tunnel Boring Machine down to bedrock) construction will begin and will be completed by spring of 2018
  • 2018 (late summer) – Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will begin the journey through Fort Wayne’s bedrock
  • 2021 – tunnel is expected to be completed by late summer/early fall of that year
  • 2023 - Tunnel pump station complete and tunnel put into operation
  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • Timothy Rushenberg

      Electric Co-Op Names VP

      The Indiana Electric Cooperatives has named Timothy Rushenberg vice president of government relations. He most recently served as vice president of the Indiana Energy Association. Rushenberg has also served with the Indiana Manufacturers Association and the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.  

    • Alexa Deaton and Colby Shank

      Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two

      The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.