FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne continues its yearslong commitment to remove combined sewer overflows as part of its deep rock tunnel project.

As part of a federal mandate, Fort Wayne has been finalizing an underground tunnel that will limit sewage flowing into rivers, and the latest piece was discussed at Fort Wayne City Council Tuesday.

A map depicting CSO 20, south of Foster Park on the St. Mary’s River

“This is a part through the Woodhurst neighborhood, through the Indian Village Neighborhood, this will be the trunkline to bring those combined sewer overflows and get them over to our tunnels so we can bring them over and treat them,” said Michael Kiester, manager of Construction and Engineering for Fort Wayne City Utilities.

The $12 million project City Council looked at will transport sewage along Hartman Road to the deep rock tunnel which eventually ends with the water being treated.

In technical terms, City Council documents describe the project as approximately 3,100 feet of pipe that connects “DS01 to CSO 20.”

A map depicting the work being done around Foster Park for the City of Fort Wayne’s tunnel project.

DS01 is a shaft that connects to the tunnel, CSO 20 stands for “Combined Sewer Overflow 20,” a specific location where sewers that are full of sewage and rainwater will overflow into rivers.

The approximately 3,100-foot-long pipeline will be composed of 72-inch pipe and elliptical sewer relief pipe.

The contractor the city has chosen to do the work, Dunigan Bros., INC., will have to remove a massive amount of dirt to finish the project.

“The contractor has a large excavator they will bring down, so basically just digging a deep trench, laying the pipe in it and actually taking the soil that they’re digging out and they will just wrap it around the backside of the trench and fill it right back in behind them,” Kiester said.

City Council gave funding for the project a do-pass recommendation and is expected to approve final passage later in October.

The project is ultimately one puzzle piece of several other projects that will be necessary, including a sewer in Indian Village, a pump station, and a sanitary and storm sewer in the Woodhurst neighborhood.

The city hopes to have the tunnel active in 2025, but until then, the City of Fort Wayne will be operating deep beneath the surface.