Fort Wayne begins construction on nearly $200 million rock tunnel

(Photo supplied/City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Construction has kicked off on a $188 million tunnel to help prevent combined sewer overflows into rivers in northeastern Indiana.

A groundbreaking event was held Thursday for Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel near the city’s water pollution control plant.

The 5-mile-long (8 kilometer-long) tunnel will be more than 200 feet (61 meters) underground. Officials say it’s an essential component of a 2008 agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to significantly reduce the average number of combined sewer overflows.

The project also will help protect neighborhoods from sewage backing up into basements and curb street flooding during heavy rains.

Work is expected to be complete by fall 2021.

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