FORT WANYE, Ind. (WFFT)- Development continues for Fort Wayne's largest construction and public investment project.
The deep-rock tunnel will collect and transport sewage from the combined sewer system to the sewage treatment plant.
The construction site is at the Water Pollution Control Plant where crews will put a 5 mile long tunnel underneath the earth surface.
"Right now we're building shafts in preparation for the tunnel boring machine," said Tunnel and Shafts Project Manager T.J. Short.
There are two shafts, the pump station shaft and the working shaft.
""The pump station shaft is about 70 feet deep and the working shaft is about 90 feet deep," said Short.
They're already pretty far down into the ground, but crews have a long way to go.
"They're now into rock, so they're using explosives to blast in order to excavate the shaft down to it's 220 feet or so depth."
The actual tunnel digging isn't expected to start until August. The tunnel boring machine is currently being shipped. Short says safety is a big concern on the site since there are a lot of men and women working in the construction zone daily.
"There's 78 union staff and about 20 or so engagement staff."
Short says that the tunnel will reduce sewage from going into the St. Marys and Maumee rivers by 90%.
"The tunnel itself will be completed we think December of 2019 or January of 2020."
Who will this affect?
"It's Fort Wayne and anyone else who pays their utilities bill through the city of Fort Wayne. "
Both shafts are expected to be completed by the end of this July. The entire project will be finished in 2020.