IBJNews

Work on city's 8-mile sewage tunnel gets underway

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Work is starting on an 8-mile-long tunnel under the south side of Indianapolis that is the first major part of a $1.6 billion project aimed at reducing the release of raw sewage into the city's rivers.

The plan calls for crews to bore the 18-foot diameter tunnel about 250 feet underground between a sewage treatment plant on the city's far south side to a location near the White River near downtown. The work is expected to take five years and be followed by four shorter tunnels that will contain water from the city's combined storm and sanitary sewers after storms until it can be treated.

"Any time any significant rainfall occurs, even a quarter of an inch, we're putting raw sewage in the White River and Fall Creek — conditions that we can't tolerate," Carey Lykins, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group, parent company of the city water utility, told WISH-TV.

Crews have started prep work on digging the shaft for the tunnel and drilling work is expected to begin by late fall after gargantuan boring equipment arrives on 40 semitrailers for assembly, officials announced Wednesday.

The project is required under a 2006 agreement between the city and federal and state environmental agencies to reduce sewage releases into the waterways by 2025.

Los Angeles-based Aecom Technology Corp. was chosen last September for a $25 million contract to manage construction of the sewage overflow tunnel and pump.

When complete, city officials say, the 25 miles of tunnels will be able to store 250 million gallons during and after rainstorms and reduce untreated sewage overflow by at least 95 percent.

Kevin Hardie, executive director of the Friends of the White River preservation group, called the project a significant step.

Money for the project is coming from recent annual hikes in city sewer rates, including a 10.8-percent increase this year and a similar increase planned for 2013.

The drilling work deep underground isn't expected to draw much attention as officials say slight vibrations lasting a few hours or a day are the only thing residents might notice immediately above any work area.

Mayor Greg Ballard said he believed the completed project would make the city's rivers much cleaner and more attractive for recreation and development.

"It's going to put a lot more activities at or near the waterways," Ballard said. "That's the intent so that we can really use it as an economic development asset."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • What are the risks to underground water?
    What safeguards ensure raw sewage from this eight mile long tunnel doesn't leach into the aquifer? Might this be a case of "out of sight, out of mind," for the immediate future?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

ADVERTISEMENT