FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The first piece of Fort Wayne’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), MamaJo, was lowered into the ground Monday.
The 200-ton cutterhead was hoisted down the 220-foot working shaft, and marked the beginning of one of the most significant public infrastructure projects in Fort Wayne history.
Once completed, MamaJo will stand at a diameter of more than 19 feet and stretch more than 400 feet in length, and grind through bedrock to build a five-mile-long sewer tunnel.
The TBM is a significant portion of the effort to clean up Fort Wayne’s rivers, and protects neighborhoods from basement backups and street flooding.
The tunnel is predicted to reduce more than 90 percent of combined sewer overflow going into the rivers.
Crews will continue lowering pieces of MamaJo into the ground over the next two months, with full assembly expected to be finished by early spring of this year.
Completion of the tunnel boring is expected by 2021, and will be connected to many neighborhood sewers by 2023.
Learn more, and get tunnel updates, at fortwaynetunnel.org.