Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Tunnel Release Embargoed

At a ceremonial groundbreaking today, the largest construction and public investment project in the City’s history began a journey that will extend for five miles underneath the City at a depth of 200-feet below the earth’s surface. Mayor Tom Henry joined members of the Fort Wayne City Council, neighborhood leaders, world-renowned construction contractors and City Utilities staff members to break ground for the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel (3RPORT).

The deep-rock tunnel is a major portion of the effort to clean-up Fort Wayne’s rivers and protect neighborhoods from basement back-ups and street flooding.

“The tunnel project will have significant environmental and economic benefits for generations to come,” said Mayor Henry. “To be a point of destination City, it’s critical that we invest in projects that will have a lasting and meaningful impact. A successful future for our community and region depends on safe, effective and efficient wastewater treatment facilities and best practices.”

World leaders in the tunnel construction industry, S.A. Healy and Salini Impregilo, are teaming to construct Fort Wayne’s sewer transportation tunnel. The companies have a strong track-record of building tunnels and other utility infrastructure on every continent and in more than 50 countries around the world. The project represents an investment of $188 million and is designed with a life expectancy of 100 years.

“We are very excited about this project. This is the fourth Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) we are building in the USA. Projects that improve quality of life, environmental projects, and renewable energy projects are part of the values and the main core business of our group of companies. We look forward to working with the local workforce and the local business community and authorities,” said Giuseppe Quarta, Executive Vice President P3, Large Projects and Tunneling for The Lane Construction Corporation, and President of S.A. Healy Company.

Fort Wayne’s tunnel has attracted world-wide attention, but the benefits will improve the local community in the short-term and far into the future.

“We know that in four to six years we will see a 90 percent reduction in the amount of combined sewer overflow going into our rivers – a reduction of more than 850 billion gallons on average each year. That will benefit the entire community and our waterways as well as those downstream all the way to Lake Erie. 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,” said Matthew Wirtz, Deputy Director of City Utilities.

“We are thankful for the strong and consistent support we’ve received from Mayor Henry, the City Council and neighborhood residents across the community,” said Kumar Menon, Deputy Director of City Utilities. “They understand that the tunnel will serve multiple generations of families and businesses. It will support a renewed interest in riverfront development, business expansion and provide environmental improvements that will serve our community well.”

Today’s groundbreaking was held at the hub of the tunnel construction area near the planned working shaft and where the construction building will be. When construction is completed, a pump station associated with the tunnel operation will be located on this site. The building will be completed this fall and the working shaft will be completed next spring. In the summer of 2018 pieces of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be delivered and after assembly, the TBM will be put in the ground and is expected to begin its journey in late summer of 2018. The project will also include nine drop shafts in several neighborhoods.

Quick Facts

• 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

• For more information visit

About City Utilities

Fort Wayne City Utilities is the largest municipally owned Water and Sewer Utility in the State of Indiana. Serving more than 300,000 residents in Allen and adjacent counties, City Utilities produces eleven billion gallons of drinking water and treats 17 billion gallons of sewage each year. The service delivery system includes nearly 4,000 miles of water, sewer and storm pipes in 110 square miles.

Each year, City Utilities is recognized nationally for award-winning drinking water, treatment processes in sewer and water, and safety and environmental initiatives. City Utilities is supported through user fees, the funds customers pay for water and sewer fees. As a not for profit, all funds are invested on the operation, maintenance and improvement of the system. In 2017 we will invest $74 million to upgrade sewer, storm and water infrastructure.

About S.A. Healy Company and parent company Lane Construction Corporation

A wholly owned subsidiary of Lane Construction Corporation, S.A. Healy Company is a leading U.S. tunnel and heavy construction contractor with over 85 years of continuous experience that has played an integral and pioneering role in the tunneling of America. Since its founding in 1923, the company has tunneled over 100 miles more – than one-half million feet – and completed more than 200 projects worth billions of dollars.

Founded in 1890, the Lane Construction Corporation is a leading U.S. construction company specializing in heavy civil construction services and products in the transportation, infrastructure and energy industries. It is owned by global construction leader Salini Impregilo. The company has a unique combination of capabilities including public-private partnerships/innovative financing and joint ventures; large, complex design-build and bid-build projects; as well as the ability to produce and install asphalt, aggregates and concrete. Lane’s resources, innovative solutions and emphasis on safety and quality control—combined with its expertise in engineering, procurement and construction project management—produce high-quality results.

About the Salini Impregilo Group

Salini Impregilo is a leading global player in the construction of major complex infrastructures. It specializes in the water sector, where it is recognized by the Engineering News-Record (ENR) as the global leader for the 4th consecutive year, as well as railways and metro systems, bridges, roads and motorways, large civil and industrial buildings, and airports The Group has 110 years of applied engineering experience on five continents, with design, engineering and construction operations in 50 countries and more than 35,000 employees from 100 nationalities. Salini Impregilo is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and pursues sustainable development objectives to create value for its stakeholders. It assists clients in strategic areas including energy and mobility, helping to drive development and well-being for current and future generations. Its leadership is reflected by projects such as the new Panama Canal, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, the Cityringen metro in Copenhagen, the metro system in Riyadh, the Stavros Niarchos cultural centre in Athens, the new Gerald Desmond Bridge in California.