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LA firm to oversee construction of city's sewage tunnel

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Citizens Energy Group has approved a $25 million contract to Los Angeles-based Aecom Technology Corp. to manage construction of a sewage overflow tunnel and pump, the company announced Thursday.

Aecom, a global firm that also is one of the companies rebuilding the World Trade Center site in New York City, designed the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector, the linchpin of a tunnel system the city will build to handle sewage overflows during rain storms.

Aecom will oversee the first phase of the tunnel project, which is projected to be finished by 2017. Besides the Deep Rock connector, Indianapolis plans to construct four other tunnels to handle sewage overflow, with those tunnels being complete by 2025.

The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector will consist of an 18-foot wide tunnel, which will be bored 230 feet below ground for a distance of 7.8 miles. Aecom also will construct a “dewatering” pump that will discharge into the Southport Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on Southport Road west of Harding Street.

“This project will help solve some key environmental challenges for Indianapolis,” Aecom CEO John Dionisio said in a prepared statement.

Bids for the Deep Rock connector project came in below the city’s estimates of $275 million, but no other contracts have yet to be announced.

The city started seeking bids for the Deep Rock tunnel project in May.

The system of tunnels will require investment of more than $1 billion, a project now being taken on by Indianapolis-based Citizens, which acquired the Indianapolis Water Co. from the city in late August.

The project is governed by a 2010 settlement between the city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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