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Citizens Energy Group announced today it has completed mining more than half of the 28-mile DigIndy Tunnel System, which is now ahead of schedule and approximately $400 million below the original budget.
When complete in 2025, DigIndy will prevent up to 99 percent of sewer overflows now impacting area waterways when it rains as little as a quarter of an inch. Since opening the first 10 miles of the system on Dec. 29, 2017, DigIndy has prevented more than 500 million gallons of sewage from overflowing into the White River and Eagle Creek across southern Marion County.
“Citizens employees are working hard every day to find innovative ways to keep the DigIndy Project ahead of schedule and below budget, while maximizing benefits for our environment,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President & CEO of Citizens Energy Group. “DigIndy is now functioning just as it was designed. Keeping 500 million gallons of sewage out of area waterways over the past nine months is a tremendous accomplishment resulting from years of careful planning.”
Mayor Joe Hogsett commented that DigIndy is a “transformational project for Indianapolis. As DigIndy restores area waterways to their original splendor, it is enhancing recreational opportunities, while sparking economic and neighborhood redevelopment across our community.”
Harrison thanked the community for its understanding and patience as it completes the largest infrastructure project in Indianapolis history. “We recognize the impact the cost of DigIndy is having on customer rates and that’s why we are more focused than ever on leveraging innovation to hold down project and operating costs. We also appreciate the community’s patience as we complete disruptive surface projects associated with the tunnel system,” Harrison said.
The Indianapolis Department of Public of Works and IndyGo are working closely with Citizens to coordinate project schedules such as bridge replacements and the Red Line construction to minimize inconvenience for residents and motorists.
In addition to building the tunnel system 250 feet beneath the city, Citizens is constructing new consolidated sewers and drop shafts that will convey sewer overflows to the tunnel. Over the next seven years, residents will notice large cranes in areas of the city where drop shafts are being constructed. The utility has already more than doubled the capacity of its two advanced wastewater treatment plants to process volumes captured by the tunnel system.