FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne City Utilities is getting a $135 million investment for infrastructure this year, which means improvements to the city as well as more construction on the way.

It’s the largest investment yet for a single year, City Utilities said Monday in a release. The investment will go toward Fort Wayne’s water, sewer and storm water projects. This in turn supports the bigger picture of replacing aging infrastructure, increasing capacity in this growing community and protecting our rivers and local environment, City Utilities said.

Mayor Tom Henry speaks at a press conference about a $135 million-dollar investment for Fort Wayne City Utilities. Behind Mayor Henry is Drop Shaft #9, which will connect to the deep rock sewer tunnel.

Mayor Tom Henry and city council members revealed the improvements at a conference Monday.

“Our continued commitment to investing in neighborhood infrastructure is critical to Fort Wayne’s current and future success,” Mayor Henry said. “City Utilities is making a lasting and meaningful difference throughout our neighborhoods and community. The water, sewer and storm water work play a significant role in our overall quality of life and positions Fort Wayne for new economic development opportunities to grow our city and make it more attractive for families and businesses to move here.” 

2023 marks year 16 of the 18-year Consent Decree and Long-Term Control Plan, which is designed to prevent sewage and storm water overflow in Fort Wayne. Consolidation sewer projects are underway on Superior Street, Brown Street and Camp Allen. The Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel will eventually guide overflows to the sewer treatment plant.

A project in Foster Park will combat overflows from the St. Marys River. The finished project will keep 27 million gallons of combined sewage out of the river each year, City Utilities said.

The department said additional storm water and drainage improvements are underway on Decatur Road, Pierson Drain, and the wetland near Hessen Cassel Road.

Water utility projects will tackle issues like water main breaks in the city. Construction is planned near Anthony Boulevard and McKinnie Avenue, and neighborhoods including Forest Park, Glenwood Park, and Wildwood Park, areas that have had more than 200 water main breaks over the last 15 years.

“Our investments in utility infrastructure are essential to our residents, schools, businesses and the region,” said Kumar Menon, the director of City Utilities. “…This year’s investment of $135 million is significant, bringing us to more than $1 billion over the past ten years. With the support of Mayor Henry and the City Council, we are making our community stronger and more competitive.”