The people of Fort Wayne have spoken and Fort Wayne's tunnel boring machine will be named MamaJo.
The name, which was chosen via an online poll, is derived from the first two letters of each of Fort Wayne's three rivers: the Maumee River, the St. Mary's River and the St. Joseph River. Together they form MamaJo, described by City Utilities Deputy Director Matthew Wirtz as "the protector of our rivers."
"The naming of the (Tunnel Boring Machine) brings a little fun to an important community project that will serve our community well for generations to come," Kumar Menon, Director of City Utilities, said in a statement Tuesday. "This massive five-mile long sewer tunnel will protect our rivers, protect neighborhoods and help support thousands of good paying jobs over the next five years. It will support a renewed interest in riverfront development and business expansion, while engaging our schools and colleges in environmental improvements that will enrich our region for generations to come."
MamaJo and its crews will dig a five-mile tunnel 16 feet in diameter from a site near the intersection of Dwenger and Glasgow avenues to Foster Park. At $188 million, it is the largest public works project ever undertaken by the city of Fort Wayne. The tunnel is expected to be complete by 2021. Connections to neighborhood sewers are expected to be finished in 2023.
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