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Fort Wayne discharges a large amount of diluted sewage into nearby rivers every year. The tunnel is a major portion of the effort to clean up Fort Wayne’s rivers and protect neighborhoods from basement backups and street flooding.

Reduction in combined sewer overflows discharging untreated water to the Fort Wayne Rivers
Years Constructed Life Span
Miles of Tunnel Construction


Fort Wayne City Utilities is designing Tunnel Works, a large tunnel and network of pipes in the bedrock below the city. This tunnel system will collect and transport sewage from the combined sewer system to the sewage treatment plant. Tunnel Works is the City’s main project for reducing the amount of diluted sewage discharged into the rivers.

The 3RPORT project included consolidation sewers, nine drop shafts, and a deep rock tunnel to collect and convey combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from 22 outfalls along the St. Mary’s and Maumee Rivers. The tunnel’s life expectancy is 100 years.

Technical Highlights

  • The tunnel depth is 200 to 250 feet below the ground surface. It is a segmentally lined tunnel.
  • The project reduces the number of CSOs into the rivers by 90%―or more than 850 billion gallons on average each year―which occur during large rainstorms.
  • Approximately 16,600 feet of near surface consolidation and relief sewers that convey CSOs from diversion structures to drop shafts.


The deep-rock tunnel is a major part of the effort to:

  • Clean up Fort Wayne’s rivers
  • Protect neighborhoods from basement backups and street flooding
  • Improve quality of life and the environment