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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Derek Willenborg assembles reinforcement rebar during construction of a shaft wall for the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel on Tuesday morning.

  • The shaft for the overflow reduction tunnel is being dug on the grounds of the city’s Water Pollution Control Plant between Dwenger Avenue and the Maumee River east of downtown.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette The Working shaft where work is in progress on the Deep Rock Tunnel. With Video.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 1:00 am

Crews excavating shaft for sewer overflow tunnel

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne city officials on Tuesday invited news media to the site where a working shaft is being excavated for the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel.

Construction on the $187.7 million tunnel began in June. Once complete, the 16-foot-diameter tunnel will run 5 miles from East Dwenger Avenue to the north end of Foster Park.
Located about 250 feet below the city, the tunnel is a major component of a sewer improvement ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A consent decree agreed to by the city requires Fort Wayne to reduce the average annual number of combined sewer overflows into the city's rivers from 76 to four.

The tunnel, which will take about 41/2 years to complete, will be able to store nearly 37 million gallons during a high-water event, city officials said.