July 15, 2022

DigIndy Tunnel System reaches another milestone

The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector (DRTC) was the first tunnel constructed in the DigIndy program.

The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector (DRTC) was the first tunnel constructed in the DigIndy program.

The White River and Lower Pogues Run tunnels in the DigIndy project opened this week.

Citizens Energy Group spokesperson Laura O’Brien said more than half of the DigIndy Tunnel System is now operating.

“Now we have a total of four of the system’s six tunnels online and in operation, comprising nearly 17 of the system’s 28 miles,” O’Brien said.

The White River Tunnel is nearly 6 miles long and includes approximately 9,000 feet of consolidation sewers, which transport sewage from former combined sewer overflow (CSO) points to the tunnel. The old combined sewers move stormwater and sewage in one pipe. Even normal rainfall can overwhelm the system and cause an overflow, releasing stormwater and sewage into local waterways.   

The segment of the tunnel will prevent sewage overflow along the White River in the Riverside, Haughville, Stringtown, and Old Southside neighborhoods, as well as downtown Indianapolis.
The Lower Pogues Run Tunnel is nearly 2 miles long and includes 1,200 feet of consolidation sewers.

Officials said these tunnels continue the progress made since December 2017 when the first 10 miles of DigIndy tunnels were opened.

Mike Miller, Manager of the Dig Indy Capital Program, said that segment of the tunnel system already has prevented more than 3 billion gallons of sewage from reaching area waterways. And, with the work of the city to improve the sewer stormwater system, he said, the health of the water will continue to improve.

“With their stormwater improvements combined with the oncoming tunnel improvements it’s only going to get better for area residents and for the environmental impacts to our local water,” Miller said.

The remaining two tunnels, Pleasant Run and Fall Creek, are expected to open in 2025.

Contact WFYI Morning Edition newscaster and reporter Taylor Bennett at tbennett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @TaylorB2213.

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