Mayor Tom Henry joined neighborhood leaders, City Council members, and City Utilities to reveal a more than $90 million investment in water, sewer and storm infrastructure improvements for 2021.
This year’s commitments will improve reliability, solve drainage issues and protect the environment.
“I’m encouraged by the continued commitment to neighborhoods. City Utilities is making a significant difference as we work together to be a growing and thriving community,” said Mayor Henry. “The projects being done to enhance our water, sewer, and stormwater systems are intended to ensure that residents and businesses receive reliable and excellent service.”
“City Utilities delivers award-winning, high-quality water and sewer services to customers every day. Our efforts are about protecting public health and safety, but we can’t forget about the health of underground infrastructure,” said Kumar Menon, Director of City Utilities. “I thank Mayor Henry and the City Council for supporting our aggressive efforts to replace aging water pipes, address drainage issues and protect the environment. But we still need to invest more, and I’m encouraged that Congress is looking closely at providing additional funding toward upgrading and modernizing America’s wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water systems. I can assure you it would be money well invested.”
Today’s news conference took place near the Third Street Sewer Pump Station. A consolidation sewer is being constructed to intercept combined sewage from several neighborhoods on the north side of the river and transport it to a drop shaft connected to the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel. Currently, during rain events, 137 million gallons of combined sewage (sanitary and stormwater) flows into the St. Marys at this location. When the tunnel is operational at the end of 2023, that amount will be reduced by more than 90%.
Additionally, three other consolidation sewers are under construction or will begin this year, and 12 miles of sewer pipe are being lined throughout the City this year.
Our efforts to replace 70 miles of aging water main in a 5-year time frame, continue with replacements planned for this year in the neighborhoods of Hamilton, West Central, Southwood Park, Tamarack, Covington Dells, Five Points, Centerhurst, Fairfield, Fairmont and Oakdale.
And our 5-year plan to complete more than 30 major Stormwater projects continues in Vesey, Hessen Cassel Road, Diane Drive, Mayfield Road, Vance Avenue, Blackhawk, North Anthony, and Lincolndale areas. That stormwater 5-year plan goes through the end of 2022.
“The investments we’re making improve our quality of life and position Fort Wayne as a leader in economic development opportunities and new jobs,” added Mayor Henry.
Indeed, infrastructure improvements do support jobs. According to the public policy research group, the Brookings Institution, 14 million people work in fields directly related to infrastructure. This year’s City Utilities’ investment supports nearly 2,400 construction-related jobs when using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics calculations of an average of 26 jobs supported for each million invested.
Besides the hundreds of neighborhood projects, both large and small, City Utilities is also making upgrades to our water and sewer plants and our pollution control plants