Citizens Energy Group in Indianapolis has announced plans to complete the nearly $2 billion DigIndy Tunnel System. The utility says the project to reduce potential sewer overflows will result in $70 million in additional savings.
Citizens said the tunnel contractor, J.F. Shea and Kiewit, will be awarded an estimated $500 million contract to complete the remaining 18 miles of tunnel and drop shafts over the next nine years. The entire project spans 28 miles of concrete tunnels 250 feet beneath the city to prevent sewage overflows from entering into area waterways when it rains.
"Our plan to complete the DigIndy Tunnel System significantly under budget while further reducing sewage overflows represents a big win for our customers, the community and the environment," said Jeffrey Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Citizens. "Thanks to the value engineering efforts of Citizens technical team and its partners, we have increased the savings on the Consent Decree from $330 million to $400 million."
Harrison says the original plan for DigIndy required it to prevent 95 percent of raw sewage overflows from reaching area waterways. The new plan will allow the utility to prevent 99 percent of potential overflows.
"By restoring our rivers and streams to levels not seen in over 100 years, DigIndy will enhance recreational opportunities, facilitate neighborhood redevelopment, and improve overall quality of life across Central Indiana," said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. "Citizens and its partner Shea Keiwit have positioned DigIndy as a model for how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve better outcomes for the community and the environment."
The project also involves the expansion of Citizens’ two sewage treatment plants. The goal is to eliminate sewage overflows to area streams by 2025 in accordance with a Consent Decree from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
You can find out more about the project by viewing the video below: